Studies show that young people leaving foster care at 18 years old before being connected to a permanent family through adoption, returning home to parents or having a relative take custody of them, have very poor outcomes compared to their peers. The youth have increased incidence of homelessness and involvement in the criminal justice system and lower educational achievement.
As part of its 2016 Public Policy Legislative Agenda, United Against Poverty, UWSELA and WLC continues to work in partnership with the LICIF to expand services for teens aging out of foster care and are evaluating national best practices that could possibly increase federal funding to assist with improving outcomes. UWSELA’s Women’s Leadership Council is contributing $25,000 to the LICIF initiative to provide familial, community and state support to these children.
Founded in 2002, the WLC supports the unique health and human service needs of women and children in southeast Louisiana. The group pools the time, talent, and financial resources of its members to bring to the forefront the positive impact which women can have on a community.
WLC Chair Cathy McRae says, “WLC has led the charge on many important issues such as early childhood education, domestic violence reform, and improving the health outcomes of Louisiana’s children. Advocacy and philanthropy are the heart of the Women’s Leadership Council. We raise over $200,000 each year through membership dues to be allocated to programs which target those most in need.”
UWSELA COO Charmaine Caccioppi says, “Our 2016 Public Policy Legislative Agenda is a key strategy in our new Blueprint for Prosperity which serves to advance our objectives to eradicate poverty and to assist those on the cusp of poverty or ALICE---Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE is a term to describe residents across Louisiana who are working hard, yet still struggling to make ends meet. ALICE has low-paying jobs, little or no savings, and is one emergency from falling into poverty.”
UWSELA Public Policy Chair Kim Sport says, “Our United Against Poverty agenda reaffirms UWSELA’s positions previously taken in the 2014 and 2015 Louisiana Legislative Sessions. We hope it encourages others to focus on public policy and poverty eradication. Together we can educate and empower people to help lift them out of poverty. We can create a stronger, better Louisiana.”