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Black Tie International
National CASA Association


 

 

NATIONAL CASA ASSOCIATION LAUNCHES NEW FOSTER YOUTH PROGRAM WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE WALMART FOUNDATION

Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA), Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support and sponsor of the Fostering Connections to Success Act, addresses the crowd gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C, for National CASA's Forgotten Children event back in May 2008. McDermott applauds the gift of the Walmart Foundation to the Fostering Futures program, which will help older children as they age out of the foster care system.


Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA), Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support and sponsor of the Fostering Connections to Success Act, addresses the crowd gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C, for National CASA's Forgotten Children event back in May 2008. McDermott applauds the gift of the Walmart Foundation to the Fostering Futures program, which will help older children as they age out of the foster care system.

 

Fostering Futures, a New Program Developed by National CASA, Helps Older Foster Youth Transition From Foster Care to Successful, Independent Adults

 

 


SEATTLE
(July 16, 2009) - To help address the unique challenges faced by older foster youth, the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association has developed a new program for its national network of nearly 70,000 volunteer child advocates, titled Fostering Futures. The Walmart Foundation has recognized the value of Fostering Futureswith a $1.6 million grant to develop and launch the program in 2009. Funding from the Walmart Foundation allows National CASA to support local CASA and GAL program efforts to recruit, train and retain volunteers to work with older youth.


Each year, an estimated 25,000 young people between the ages of 18 to 21 are legally required to emancipate, or age out of the foster care system. Aging out of foster care without a life plan or preparation puts these vulnerable youths at great risk. These risks include homelessness, unemployment, substance abuse, criminal involvement and mental health issues.


Youth older than age 13 are far less likely to be adopted and more likely to age out of the foster care system with little or no adult support.Fostering Futures will engage CASA and Guardian ad Litem (GAL) volunteers as advocates for and advisors to foster youth ages 13 - 21, with the goal of helping them develop specific transition plans, identify supportive adult connections, and achieve positive outcomes once they transition out of foster care.

"In all of our giving efforts, we strive to meet the needs of under-served populations," says Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. "Our support of National CASA?s Fostering Futures program reinforces that commitment by expanding the resources necessary to help foster youth become successful adults."


"We are grateful to the Walmart Foundation for helping us launch our Fostering Futures program this year," says Michael Piraino, CEO of the National CASA Association. "These older youth need the advocacy and support of CASA volunteers to prepare them for an effective transition and positive outcomes in early adulthood. Fostering Futures positions us to help achieve this promise of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act." National CASA worked hard to help secure this important federal legislation which includes the option for states to receive federal support if they elect to extend foster care to age 21. By extending the length of possible stays in care, the Act gives these young people more time to plan for their futures and to access specific resources to help them achieve their goals.


"I am pleased that the Walmart Foundation has chosen to generously support Fostering Futures," says Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA), Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support and sponsor of the Fostering Connections to Success Act.  "This collaboration between National CASA and the Walmart Foundation will provide some real help to youth in foster care who face being pushed out of the system on their 18th birthday."


For more information about National CASA's Fostering Futures program, contact Jim Clune at
jclune@nationalcasa.org. To learn more about National CASA, and how you can help create a hopeful future for a youth in foster care, please visit www.CASAforChildren.org.

About Philanthropy at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009, Walmart  and its domestic and international foundations  gave more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally. To learn more, please  visit:
www.walmartfoundation.org.

E
d. Note: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the legal trade name of the corporation. The name "Walmart," expressed as one word and without punctuation, is a trademark of the company and is used analogously to describe the company and its stores. Use the trade name when it is necessary to identify the legal entity, such as when reporting financial results, litigation or corporate governance.


 

 

 

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