Opportunity Passport: One Ticket to Financial Management

The Jim Casey Youth Opportunity Initiatives launched a program in 2002 called Opportunity Passport to help kids aging out of foster care develop money management skills by learning about the importance of saving. The program focuses on youth between the ages of 14-25. After initial training, the program provides youth with a bank account with an initial balance of $100.00. Each dollar saved for approved assets which include expenses toward education, housing, healthcare, etc. is matched dollar for dollar up to $1000.00 each year. Since the start of Opportunity Passport, the program has helped about 5,000 kids save upto $6 million for school, housing, cars, etc.

In a newly released report titled Enduring Assets: Findings from a Study on the Financial Lives of Young People Transitioning from Foster Care, findings show positive results for this program. The report found that these types of programs increase the likelihood that kids will be financially stable in the long-run.

For the press release and access to the full report, visit http://www.jimcaseyyouth.org/sites/default/files/Enduring%20Assets%20News%20Release.pdf

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Necessary Services for Youth Aging Out of Care

In this report, Children’s Aid Society (CAS) highlights the increasing need to provide services for youth aging out of care. According to CAS, children aging out of foster care in the US are vulnerable to homelessness, unemployment, incarceration, and reduced health. Some of the key areas to focus policies include job placement programs, mental health groups, leadership training, financial management training, education, and housing assistance. As youth caretakers, what aspect would you choose to prioritize over others to help youth transition smoothly? Are there other areas you feel need to be addressed?

To access the full report, http://www.childrensaidsociety.org/files/upload-docs/FosterCare.pdf