FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 7, 1996
Lowry receives national grant for innovative
foster care programs
OLYMPIA - A number of teen-age
foster children in the Puget Sound area will benefit from a $150,000
AmeriCorps grant awarded today to an innovative Washington program
that will provide one-on-one adult mentoring and structured group
activities for more than a hundred 15-18-year-old youth.
The grant from the Corporation for National Service, which includes
AmeriCorps, recognizes Washington's innovative approach to youth
and community partnerships through foster care programs. The new
program was officially recognized today during events in Smokey
Point and Tacoma.
"This recognition is another example of the exciting partnerships
we can create when we have a common goal," Gov. Mike Lowry
said during the ceremonies. "We know that the presence of
an adult role model is critical to helping kids grow into healthy,
responsible adults. This program will help more teen-age youth
benefit from that relationship."
"Fostering Youth-Community Partnerships" is one of
22 programs across the country that received the Governor's Innovative
Program grant from the Corporation Only one other competing program
focused on foster children.
The governor traveled to Smokey Point and Tacoma with Harris Wofford,
chief executive officer for the Corporation for National Service,
for ceremonies highlighting the grant. The funds will be used
to establish programs in Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties
that will provide mentors to adolescents 15 years and older who
are in foster care.
Wofford said the program's innovative approach to foster youth
was a key to its award. The program is designed to have youth
actively engaged in service to the community, not merely receiving
service. Foster care teenagers will serve on community teams that
will identify projects that could improve their communities while
also acting as resources for others. Wofford said the project
will help young people build self-esteem through teamwork with
AmeriCorps volunteers and will serve as a consistent influence
through the coming summer months.
The Corporation's grant awards process recognizes innovative ways
to use AmeriCorps or other community service programs to meet
pressing needs. Wofford said the services provided by these partnerships
demonstrate that community-based organizations and the public
sector can successfully work together to address the problems
The partnership among AmeriCorps, the state Department of Social
and Health Services Division of Children and Family Services,
Northwest Youth Services and the Pierce County Alliance will begin
the program in June.
The mentoring program will tackle issues surrounding youth and
foster care, including the lack of meaningful after-school and
weekend activities for foster youth, the absence of positive and
consistent adult figures in the lives of foster youth, and the
difficult adjustment of life after foster care for older teens.
The program will focus on providing one-to-one adult mentoring
and six hours of structured group activities each week for at
least a hundred foster children ages 15-18.
For more information, contact the Governor's Communications Office at 360-753-6790.