Success Story

Going Above and Beyond During the Transition to Adulthood

Together Facing the Challenge encourages participants to “step into the shoes” of those in their care to find practical solutions for growth. Caregiver Nichole Alley embodied that method while supporting her 17-year-old youth in care’s journey to adulthood.

Part of Together Facing the Challenge training focuses on imparting practical tools to agency staff to guide and strengthen the transition to adulthood for youth in care.

With support from OFI partner agency Integrated Family Services, caregiver Nichole Alley put these tools to action, going above and beyond to help the youth in her care grow in a way that aligned with her interests and affirmed her path to self-sufficiency.

Building Skills and Responsibility

The youth in care, a 17-year-old female, didn’t respond positively to typical after-school programs, though Ms. Alley recognized the practical benefits of incorporating new experiences and responsibilities into the student’s regular routine.

Ms. Alley reached out to personal contacts around their city and researched a range appropriate volunteer opportunities over the summer. She confirmed and secured 10 volunteer opportunities for the youth to participate in, including acting as a group leader for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and contributing time at day care centers and vet centers.

Proactive Planning and Support

As the youth began exploring these opportunities, Ms. Alley created a check sheet that outlined positive behaviors a young adult should display while in a work setting. At the end of each day, Ms. Alley contacted the appropriate adult overseeing and managing volunteers and inquired about the youth’s behaviors and attitudes during her shift.

When she received positive feedback, Ms. Alley paid the youth for “working” and accomplishing her daily goals. Ms. Alley developed this strategy and the tactics that supported it, and the youth responded well at every step.

A Positive Partnership

This caregiver’s actions not only showcased her own ingenuity and commitment to serving the youth in her care, but the partner agency’s proactive and positive coaching, too, as well as their fidelity to the evidence-based Together Facing the Challenge curriculum.

— Information for this Success Story was provided by Together Facing the Challenge program participant Kenyada Maye, Integrated Family Services.

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