Resources and Supports for Emancipated Foster Youth in Illinois

Speakers: Deneca Avant, Sharva Hampton-Campbell, Royel Johnson, and Kimberly Peck 

Postsecondary Pathways for Former Foster Care YouthIn Illinois, there are approximately 21,400 youth who are in foster care. Of that number, youth ages 13 to 21 represent 26% (n=5,656) of the foster care population. Unless they are adopted or reunited with their families, many young men and women will age out of foster care without adequate support and essential life skills to sustain independent living as adults. Once emancipated from the system, foster youth are likely to face various hardships such as unemployment and homelessness, which can subsequently lead to incarceration.

Strengthening transitional pathways for Illinois foster youth is critically important. Subsequently, the Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL) is hosting a virtual panel discussion to highlight available resources for Illinois youth who are aging out of the foster care system. Attendees will learn about transitional pathways, postsecondary onramps, and essential wraparound support services needed to aid foster youth as they navigate emerging adulthood and move to and through college to careers.

Meet the panelists:

Deneca Avant, PhD
Interim Director and Associate Professor, School of Social Work
Planning and Development Specialist, First Star ISU Academy
Associate Director of Equity and Inclusion, Center for Child Welfare and Adoption Studies
Illinois State University

Sharva Hampton-Cambell
Student Affairs Coordinator, School of Social Work
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Royel Johnson, PhD
Assistant Professor of Higher Education
Associate Director, Center for the Study of Higher Education
Pennsylvania State University

Kimberly Peck
Transition Services Administrator at Illinois DCFS
Downstate Education and Transition Services Administrator DCFS, Office of Education and Transition Services (OETS)

OCCRL research assistant Chequita Brown will moderate the free online event, which is made possible through OCCRL's Postsecondary Pathways for Former Foster Youth project.

View the event flyer.

Contact Chequita Brown at 309-660-7465 or for more information.