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NCJW/Cleveland advocates on behalf of teens aging out of the foster care system, and provides direct and indirect service to help children age out of foster care and into the community successfully.NCJW/Cleveland takes issues that negatively impact women and children of northeast Ohio very seriously. Our “Understanding the Issues Series” promote awareness and understanding of each issue. Last week, about 50 members attended a program on “Aging Out of Foster Care”. The panel included Nicole Shefrin of Fostering Hope, Latasha Watts, The Purple Project, Judge Michael Ryan, County Juvenile Judge, Greg Jones, Supervisor Emancipation Unit, and Cantor Kathryn Sebo, speaking on the Moral Imperative. Next will be our Action Steps – ready for implementation.

FOCUS ON FOSTER CARE concentrates on the issues affecting youth in foster care, as well as those who are in the process of aging out.  If interested in learning more, contact chairs Marilyn Oif at maroif1@yahoo.com or Jeannie Citerman Kraeger at jeannieck@aol.com.

FOCUS ON FOSTER CARE

National Council of Jewish Women/Cleveland is strongly focused on issues facing foster care youth.  From the discomfort of displacement from home to the dangers awaiting those aging out of foster care, these young people need all the support that adults can provide.

NCJW/Cleveland puts the focus on foster care youth through six projects aimed at supporting these children at every stage and every age.

  • Self Esteem Building.  NCJW/Cleveland interactions intended to help foster care kids gain the confidence they need to feel good about themselves.
  • Dignity and More.  NCJW/Cleveland volunteers supply duffle bags and necessities such as toiletries, school supplies and comfort pieces, including hand knitted blankets, teddy bears, and scarves and hats, created by NCJW’s DigKnitty Knitters – to make the transition less traumatic.
  • Share What You Wear. Teen volunteers, with the help of NCJW/Cleveland, collect, then distribute, back-to-school clothing and supplies to children in need at a back to school event.
  • Open Table.  NCJW/Cleveland volunteers provide a mentorship/family to teens aging out of foster care to help them build a life plan, pinpoint the networks to contact, and build a basis of trust between youth and adults.
  • Holiday Programming.  NCJW/Cleveland provides holiday programming for children who’ve aged out of foster care and have no family with which to celebrate holidays.
  • Human Trafficking. NCJW/Cleveland provides educational resources and outreach to combat the problem.  Studies show that a large percentage of trafficked youth were formerly in foster care.

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