Casey Family Services, the direct service agency of the Annie E. Casey Foundation until 2012, provided child welfare services for 30 years. Casey divisions operated in the six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) and in Baltimore, Maryland. Over the years, Casey has gained experience and knowledge in helping youth acquire the life skills they need to lead healthy and productive lives. The hallmark of Casey's work to help foster youth address problems and achieve goals has been individualized planning, based on a youth's strengths and needs, and teamwork with the youth, foster parents, birth parents, and other team members.
A significantly higher percentage of Casey foster youth delayed parenting beyond age 23, and were employed full or part time.
Findings & Stats
The Employment Center provides assistance with filling out job applications, developing interview skills, dressing for interviews, and communicating along with "real life banking" opportunities to develop saving and budgeting habits.
Life Skills Youth Group
The Life Skills Youth Group helps members to build relationships, job seeking skills and job readiness, money management, community resources, housing, conflict resolution, communication and problem-solving skills.
States Love the Curriculum
Connecticut State Department of Children and Families approved the Casey Family Life-Skills Curriculum as meeting the State's requirements for youth in care of the state and private agencies that contract with the state.
What is JCYOI?
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities (JCYOI) is an approach to packaging transition services, emphasizing permanency planning, and will likely become the model for more youth in state care.
Casey Adventure Group
The Casey Adventure Group allows youth 12 to 15 years old to participate in monthly outdoor activities beginning with a facilitated challenge course.
Casey Advisory Transition Team
Casey Advisory Transition Team provides a forum for young adults to discuss their plans for transition out of high school, group or foster care into further education and training, the job market, and/or apartment, group or dorm living.
Casey Family Services reaches out to its alumni to see "how they are doing" and to involve them in talking with current youth in care and parents and in representing the agency at conferences as speakers and panel members.
Youth Policy Advisory Committee
Through the Connecticut Youth Policy Advisory Committee, youth in care and alumni were able to share their reflections and thoughts with public officials (State Commissioner, the Governor, etc.) regarding their experience in the system.
Statements & Quotations
Each division is responsible for assessing the life-skills capabilities of its youth in foster care, developing goals with each child and youth to build life skills, and designing individualized strategies with each to achieve these goals, within the broader context of permanency planning. To enhance this case work, the Casey Family Services divisions have developed many programs and activities to increase and enhance life skills of youth in care.
This comprehensive approach integrates Ansell Casey Life-Skills Assessment (ACLSA) domains into practice to allow Bridgeport Casey youth enhanced opportunities to learn both “hard” skills (e.g., job seeking skills, job readiness, money management, community resources, housing) and “soft” skills related to relationship-building (e.g., conflict resolution, communication and problem-solving).