Foster Youth Transition Centers During COVID-19

TWC and Foster Youth Transition Centers are working hard to ensure the health and safety of our community and participants, and many Centers are closed temporarily. However, they are still delivering services virtually in a manner that complies with local, state, and federal requirements and keeps their staff and communities safe. Please contact your local Transition Center for information regarding service availability.  Contact information is provided in the map below and on the Foster Youth Transition Centers page.

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Overview

Since 2011, TWC has made youth in or formerly in foster care a priority population over all other equally qualified individuals except eligible veterans.  This page is intended to provide resources and information on foster care to Boards, Transition Centers, and other partners who are helping youth in or formerly in foster care achieve and sustain economic prosperity.

 

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National Foster Youth Month Success Stories: May 11th, 2021

Murissa Olsen– The PRIDE Center, El Paso, TX (An Initiative of El Paso Human Services, Inc)

I am a youth who experienced abuse as a child.  I was in and out the foster care system and eventually became adopted.  I overcame many obstacles. Through the support of staff at El Paso Human Services (Pride Center & Winchester House), I am coming to terms with the past and working towards a brighter future.

CPS referred me to the Pride Center, Vanessa Reyna assisted me in getting shelter homes, getting a job, food pantry, clothes, documents, financially support, and other resources.  She is supportive and a mentor to me.  She encouraged me to leave a bad relationship and stood by me through the process. She has provided me with encouragement and given me the strength to move on. Vanessa still supports me. She assisted in helping me get my current job and is proud of me.

[PRIDE Center Workforce Advocate] Jorge Contreras has made me see the bright side of days instead of negative days. Jorge is very positive and encourages all of us youth. For example, he supports me to move higher in my education in order to find a better job. He has good employment information. He is a great advocate and comes through for us by getting things done.

Cindy my current caseworker, has helped me with housing.  She’s also a good mentor.  She checks up on me.

[El Paso Human Services Counselor] Vivian Jordan-Corral has helped me with challenges with relationships my family and work.  She has taught me to use “I” statements which has helped me improve my relationships.  She has helped me emotionally to overcome obstacles in my life, get the job that I want by helping me think more positive about myself, and focusing on the positives in my life.

[PRIDE Center Program Coordinator] Santiago Gonzalez has also helped me with documents and guided me towards other programs that can help me.  He supported me emotionally and was professional when I had fall backs.  He is a good mentor and encourages me to succeed.

I am pleased to have Pride and Winchester Staff there to support me, because I wouldn’t be where I am at because of them. I recently stated, “You’re not always a foster kid, you become an adult. Life is too short, it’s important to learn new skills and resolve past issues in order to enjoy it.” El Paso Human Services Inc. is helping me reach my goals in my life.

Savana Strain – The FYi Center, Buckner Children and Family Services, Beaumont, TX

Savana is 22 years old and enrolled in the FYi Program. Savana was in foster care in another region and moved to Southeast Texas to live at Girl’s Haven. Savana was enrolled in services with the TRAIL/FYI program through Buckner Children and Family Services when she moved to the area. Savana successfully aged out of TRAIL at 21 years old and continues to be in the FYi Program.

Savana received her received her GED and pursued higher education at Lamar Institute of Technology. Savana graduated from LIT in December 2020 with her Associate’s degree. She is currently enrolled in school at Lamar University to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in business.

Prior to COVID-19, Savana was utilizing Texas Workforce Solutions services and was able to locate employment through them. Savana enjoyed working with the Texas Workforce and stated that she appreciated the help that she received from them. Savana had to stay home shortly after COVID-19 due to the lockdown. Savana is now working at Family Dollar which is close to Lamar University as well as her home. Savana has done well juggling and maintaining school while working.

Savana has enjoyed being involved in numerous activities and life skills trainings with the FYi Center. Recently, those events have been virtual, and Savana attends all that she can due to her schedule. Savana participates and gives valuable feedback about the program to help improve services at FYI.

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Upcoming Events

National Foster Youth Month Events: May 2021

Please join the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) in celebrating National Foster Youth Month! All month long, TWC will celebrate the great work done by our network of Foster Youth Transition Centers, as well as foster youth success stories from around the state. TWC will also host a series of educational webinars featuring presentations from state and national experts on critical topics in the Texas foster care community.

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Presentations

View presentations and materials regarding Foster Care, including materials from the Annual Texas Workforce Commission Conference on Youth in Foster Care. 

Webinars

Materials for TWC Foster Youth Conferences

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Foster Care Workforce Resources Map

The Foster Care Resource Map provides locations of Texas’ Foster Youth Transition Centers, Workforce Development Board areas and offices, and Workforce Solutions Offices. All icons include an information hover that will open when clicked on, displaying Center or Office contact information and links to related resources. Click the “I” at the map’s top right corner to display a legend and other relevant information at the map’s bottom. Users may also navigate the map or zoom in/out on any given region using a mouse.

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