Young Adult Table
NEWS: For Immediate Release
Open Table Collaboration
Launches Young Adult Model
“Our mission is to provide a Table for every young adult aging out of foster care that wants one”
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – Some 30,000 young adults depart foster care each year with the majority of them plunged into poverty. An effective model to help young adults aging out of foster has been developed by an Open Table collaboration of faith, child welfare and government partners.
Open Table and a team of collaboration partners are launching a faith-based model to help young adults aging out of foster care live into their human potential. Like the successful Open Table adult model, the young adult model will be implemented by congregations and their members.
Research with young adults now age 24/25 reveals a bleak story about their lives after leaving the foster system:
- 49% had aspirations to graduate from college
- only 6% percent achieved a degree from either a two or four year college
- 33% reported they had dropped out of school
- 66% dropped out of a two year program because they needed to work
- Those foster youth who were employed reported median annual earnings of $8,000…38.4% had earnings of $5,000 or less…some 25% were unemployed
Open Table Young Adult Aging Out of Foster Care Model
Partners in the young adult collaboration include churches in Arizona, Iowa and Texas, the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Arrow Child & Family Ministries, Casey Family Programs, the City of Phoenix and Open Table.
Pilot sites for the Open Table young adult model are Phoenix, Arizona; Houston, Texas; and Council Bluffs, Iowa. With training complete, seven congregations are planning to launch Tables in Arizona. Both the Arizona Department of Economic Security and Casey Family Programs will refer young adults to become candidates for the Tables.
Young adult Tables will operate similarly to adult Tables: 8 – 12 months in length, building a plan for what life can look like in a year and the development of relationship and the investment of vocation and life experiences and networks by Table members.
The Open Table collaboration is planning to bring the young adult model to states across the country so any young adult that has aged out of the system can benefit from a Table if they want one.