Serving Out of School Youth
Barnstable Patriot Column # 134
Written By David Augustinho
Serving Out of School Youth
One of the current challenges that the WIB is facing is providing services to Out of School Youth. We have always provided services for this population, but recent changes in the law regarding the expenditure of youth funding has added a new emphasis on this group.
The change that is requiring different action on our part is that now we have to spend at least 75% of our youth funding on Out of School Youth. Previously we could spend as little as 30% of our youth funds on the Out of School group.
So, you are probably thinking to yourself “well what is the problem, just round up a posse of 16-24 year olds and provide them with some services”. And I would reply, “…oh, if only it were that easy”.
This population consists of individuals who are disengaged from school, work, and in some cases society at large. Many did not enjoy the school experience, for a variety of reasons, and continued their disassociation into all areas of their lives. The chance that many of these individuals will seek out services to help with job placement or training is very remote.
So if it is difficult to engage these individuals how do we propose to locate and provide services to them? Well, one tool that we have recently instituted is to offer a cash payment of $500 to organizations that refer individuals to Career Opportunities.
Who should refer?
Organizations who can refer include, nonprofit; for profit; local, state or federal agencies that are interested in referring out of school youths to Career Opportunities Career Centers for the Cape Cod Young Adults Achieving Success Program.
Who should be referred?
Out of school youth ages 16 to 24 who are:
not attending any school (secondary or post-secondary);
and meet one or more of the following conditions:
A youth within the age of compulsory school attendance but have not attended school for at least the most recent school year quarter;
recipient of a secondary diploma or its equivalent (ex. GED. HiSet certification) who is low income and basic skills deficient or an English language learner;
subject to the juvenile or adult justice system;
a homeless child or youth, a runaway, in foster care or has aged out of the foster care system, a child eligible for assistance under section 477 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 677), or in an out-of-home placement;
pregnant or parenting;
an individual with a disability;
low-income individual who requires additional assistance to enter or complete an educational program or to secure or hold employment.
And what services will the Out of School Youth receive through Career Opportunities?
Young adults will be provided services to gain work maturity skills, a HiSet certification (the new “GED”) if needed, job skills including licenses and certifications, paid and unpaid work experience, internships, on the job training, adult mentoring (if needed), job search skills and help in finding and retaining employment. Comprehensive guidance and counseling are provided to all program participants as well as follow up supports for a year after completing the program. Support services such as childcare and transportation are available. A plan is developed for each individual including some or all of these services based on each individual’s needs.
As you can see the services that are available are comprehensive and should result in permanent job placement for participants. Which is the chief goal for all of our programs.
Organizations interested in referring individuals to this program should visit the Career Opportunities website, capejobs.com, for full information and a downloadable version of the referral form.