Youth In Transition (Aging Out)
All children — and especially older children in foster care — need and deserve a loving family with no expiration date. Yet, in the United States, about 20,000 youth exit foster care and are left to fend for themselves each year.
Leaving foster care without achieving permanence carries lifelong consequences. Youth who age out of foster care are more likely to engage in risky behaviors and more likely to experience hardships such as homelessness, joblessness, and substance use.
At Wellroot Family Services, we shepherd young adults as they transition from foster care to adulthood by offering ongoing life skills development, including financial literacy, tutoring and career development. However, our Transitional Living Program (TLP) services don’t stop with the basics.
Our team of passionate supporters works with each young adult to help him or her build a life plan built on love and compassion. One such supporter is Marlon Davis, a Wellroot transitional support lead. Marlon, a former pro-football player for the Cleveland Browns and the Jets, has worked with foster care youth for many years now.
“After I retired from football, I started teaching at a youth detention center,” said Marlon. “I discovered I had a passion for working with youth. I love working with young adults to help them see their potential and pursue their life dreams.”
Recently Davis has been working with 18-year-old Darnell to help him create a conditioning program. Darnell is interested in trying out for the high school football team this spring, and he wants to get in shape. So, Marlon has created a workout routine that works with Darnell’s schedule and takes advantage of the new TLP location in Decatur, Georgia.
“The new apartments are located in Oakhurst, a beautiful neighborhood that is great for walking and jogging,” said Marlon. “Darnell and I have started walking around the block a few times each night, and we’re looking into working with the YMCA down the road for weight training. When children experience trauma in life, it is critical to teach them healthy ways to manage their stress and establish good habits.”
Darnell and Marlon are now several weeks into the conditioning program, and Darnell is motivated and committed to getting ready for football tryouts this spring.
Did you know you can now redirect your Georgia tax dollars to support young adults like Darnell, who are transitioning from foster care? In 2022, Georgia legislatures passed House Bill 424, known as the “Fostering Success Act.” The “Fostering Success Act” establishes a tax credit for contributions to qualified Foster Child Support Organizations like Wellroot that can be used towards education, mentoring, and wraparound services for young adults transitioning out of foster care. Visit Wellroot.org/tax-credit to learn more or call our Development team at 404-327-5877. When you participate, you receive a 100 percent tax credit to your state income tax bill for your contribution. For financial advice about tax deductions, please consult a qualified professional advisor.
About Our Residential Programs
Transitional and Independent Living Programs
We shepherd young adults as they transition from foster care to adulthood. Our programs provide 24-hour support as well as community-based housing to each youth. Wellroot offers ongoing life skills development, including financial literacy, tutoring, personal development, career development and education about nutrition and health. As part of both programs, we guide residents through the process of earning their high school diploma or GED and offer assistance entering college or trade school. Learn more.
Family Housing Program
Families accepted into our program are serious about leveraging the support we offer and gaining the skills needed to ensure their long-term sustainability upon completion of our program. We provide housing and financial assistance to these families, removing the barrier of homelessness by helping them move toward self-sufficiency. We offer courses in parenting, financial management, career coaching, and personal development among others, as well as help with continuing education. Upon graduation from our program, families have at least $1,000 in savings and steady employment. Learn more.