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Delaware Docket Newsletter
Fall 2013

Family Court Judges Take on Issues Faced by Youth
Aging Out of Foster Care System

Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, Success Beyond 18

Family Court Judge Peter Jones

Family Court Judges Peter Jones and Barbara Crowell, along with representatives of the Youth Advisory Council, at the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, Success Beyond 18.

On May 6, 2013, Family Court Chief Judge Chandlee Johnson Kuhn and Judges Peter Jones and Barbara Crowell traveled to Washington, D.C., to join with child welfare officials from around the country and youth who have experienced foster care to help launch the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, Success Beyond 18. Governor Jack Markell delivered the keynote address, underscoring his commitment to youth aging out of foster care.

The purpose of the initiative is to increase public understanding, to mobilize communities to take action, and to promote improved policies and practices aimed at creating a better path for all young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood. In sixteen sites, including Delaware, the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative is providing financial and staff support to develop programs and enhance resources for young adults exiting the foster care system. Active since January 2011, Delaware's initiative (Delaware Youth Opportunities Initiative) is administered by the Delaware Center for Justice in cooperation with the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families and assists young people transitioning out of the state's foster care system to manage life as an adult. The initiatives work to develop partnerships in the communities and resources for the youth to improve the systems of support for these youth. Family Court judges routinely monitor all children and youth in foster care in Delaware and the Court has extended jurisdiction to continue monitoring such youth past their eighteenth birthday when requested by the youth.