Corinne* is an 18-year-old youth who has an individualized education plan (IEP) that includes full-time emotional support and assistance in mathematics. KidsVoice is her legal Educational Decision Maker, working with Corinne’s school district to make sure her needs are met.

Corinne has been in care since she was 15. She lives in a supervised independent living facility with other foster youth who are ages 14 and older. She sometimes gets frustrated at her situation and loses focus on her educational goals. However, she has many people looking out for her along the way, including her KidsVoice team.

Through her perseverance, Corinne reached a milestone that less than 60% of foster care youth attain. She recently joined her classmates to walk across the stage at her high school graduation.

Her educational journey is not over, though.

While Corinne has enough credits to graduate, KidsVoice advocated for her right to “bank” her diploma, a practice that allows students with IEPs to continue studying through age 21. Often, school districts are resistant to diploma banking because it is an expense for the school, but for many students like Corinne, it is an important step that allows them to learn life and job skills and continue mental health services.

When she does leave, KidsVoice will help Corinne transition into adult services and avoid the gap in therapy and medication that many former foster youth face when they age out of the child welfare system.

Corinne often thinks about the future. She looks forward to moving to a place of her own someday. In addition to the job- and life-skills training that are part of the extended education plan KidsVoice advocated for, we will also help connect Corinne to potential employment as part of our workforce development partnerships. She enjoys cooking and thinks a career in the culinary arts would be a good path.

If any roadblocks to health, housing, or employment do come up, KidsVoice will be there for Corinne: we work with all former clients through age 24 on issues like health insurance, juvenile record expungements, and credit repair, among many others.

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