SEATTLE, April 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Treehouse, a nonprofit that is dramatically improving high school graduation rates for youth in foster care, announced a major expansion of its services with the new program Launch Success at its annual Champions Luncheon. The statewide program will support youth who have experienced foster care beyond high school as they make the difficult transition into adulthood.
"A high school diploma is an absolutely critical milestone, not a destination," said Janis Avery, CEO of Treehouse. "Far too many young people exit the foster care system and struggle to meet basic needs. One in five end up homeless within a year of aging out of the system. Launch Success will partner with young adults to pave pathways to a degree or other career credential, a living wage job and stable housing."
The program will provide alumni of Treehouse's Graduation Success program continued access to coaching, and the resources needed to successfully launch into adulthood. That includes coordination of services to secure housing, funding for school fees and job supplies, and support to overcome any number of barriers to academic or career success.
Launch Success participants will meet with a coach to review resource needs and map out plans. The program will ensure each young adult has a strong network of supports to achieve their self-driven goals and be there to assist them during times of need.
"For most young people exiting foster care, there is no support when they need it most," Avery said. "Imagine not being able to make a mistake in your early 20s. We've seen too many youth experience something as simple as a flat tire cause a chain reaction that spirals into homelessness."
Seventy percent of youth in foster care nationwide dream of attending college. Right now, only half earn a high school diploma, and only 3 percent go on to earn a bachelor's degree. Treehouse's outstanding 82 percent extended high school graduation rate creates a strong foundation for the program.
Launch Success and Graduation Success are available in Benton, Franklin, King, Pierce, Skagit, Spokane, Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom counties. Treehouse continues to expand and is committed to serving all communities statewide by 2022. Its five-year goal is for youth in foster care across Washington state to graduate from high school at the same rate as their peers, with support and a plan to launch successfully into adulthood.
Founded in 1988 by social workers, Treehouse is Washington's leading nonprofit organization addressing the academic and other essential support needs of more than 7,000 youth in foster care. We're committed to every youth in care statewide achieving a degree or other relevant credential, living wage job and stable housing. With fierce optimism, we fight the structural inequities that impact all of us. Learn more at www.treehouseforkids.org.
Public Relations Specialist