Heller School hosts public forum on youth aging out of state care

WALTHAM, Mass. — The Heller School for Social Policy and Management and the Massachusetts Task Force on Youth Aging Out of DCF Care will host an open forum on Youth Aging Out of DCF Care on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008. The presentation and panel discussion will be 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. following registration and refreshments at 5 p.m. This free event is open to the public and will be held at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management. 

Task Force Director and Heller School Senior Fellow Della M. Hughes (pictured in spotlight) will present findings and recommendations from the Task Force’s report “Preparing Our Kids for Education, Work and Life.” The report, released June 2008, explores the system of care for this vulnerable population.

Panelists and speakers will include Joan Wallace-Benjamin, Co-Chair of the Task Force and President and CEO of The Home for Little Wanderers; a young person who has aged out of DCF care; a local legislator; a DCF representative; and a service provider to young people – Jodi Rosenbaum Tillinger of More Than Words bookstore in Waltham.  To register, please visit The Home for Little Wanderers website.

Massachusetts Youth
According to the 2Q 2008 DCF Quarterly Report (quarter ending December 2007), there were 6,348 youth ages 12+ in the custody of the Department of Children and Families who had been removed from their homes (due to abuse, neglect, behavior, etc.) and placed in alternative settings, such as foster homes, group homes and residential facilities. 

About the Task Force & Forums
Led by Task Force Director, Della M. Hughes and co-chairs, Joan Wallace-Benjamin, President and CEO, The Home for Little Wanderers, and Maria Mossaides, Executive Director, Cambridge Family and Children’s Service the Task Force on Youth Aging Out of DCF Care is a multi-agency group formed in 2002 to develop new strategies for improving the outcomes experienced by youth transitioning from DCF Care. 

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