Next Step & Next Step MentoringNext Step expands upon our vision and mission by accommodating the needs of young adults who have aged out of the foster care system. Susceptible to poverty due to a lack of stability, many young adults age out of the foster care system lacking the education and skills necessary to find employment and be economically independent. These often overlooked young adults are ill-equipped to overcome barriers associated with transitioning into independent living. Cincinnati Works provides Next Step Members the opportunity to break this cycle by achieving employment and then advancing in their careers.
Why Next Step …
- Low Educational Achievement – Youth who age out of the foster care system are more than twice as likely as their peers not to have a high school diploma or GED and are 14 times as likely as the general population NOT to complete college
- Increased Risk for Homelessness – Approximately one in five former foster care youths nationwide face homelessness within one year of exiting the foster care system
- High Unemployment – Close to half foster care alumni report being unemployed
- High Incarceration Rate – It is estimated that 1 in 4 youths in transition will be incarcerated within the first two years after leaving the foster care system
- Lack of Connection to Supportive Adults – Approximately 40% of young adults aging out of the foster care system have no close relationship with adults
“This program nurtures young adults to become greater than the odds that are projected to hinder them. Next Step supports progression that is not defined by the standards of others – the standard of progression lies within each mistake, triumph, and lesson by each Next Step Member. We’re here to cultivate personal growth that can bloom into a healthy future of stability, employment, and ability to be independent.” – Next Step Employment Coach