The Lipman Youth Fund at KidsVoice was established in December 2008 to honor the life of Sue Lipman. Since its inception, the Fund has raised a significant amount of money to sponsor projects and programs to help teenagers in foster care better access resources to assist them in a successful transition to independence outside of the child welfare system. This is an extremely vulnerable, but often overlooked, population.
To date, the Fund has enabled KidsVoice to completely redesign its website to make it more inclusive and user-friendly for the children who utilize their services. The site now includes a whole host of information that benefits KidsVoice's transition-aged youth, including useful links, downloads, contact numbers, and other information related to finding a job, obtaining financial aid for college or trade school, agencies and organizations that can provide assistance in emergency situations, and general information about transitioning out of the foster care system.
The Fund also provided for the implementation of the Clean Slate Program, which ensures children charged with minor offenses have a responsible adult to support them before the magistrate when their parents cannot or will not fulfill that obligation. Although KidsVoice youth, like all children, should be held responsible for their actions, the consequences should not depend upon whether they have parental support at magistrate hearings. With the support of the Lipman Youth Fund, KidsVoice attorneys are able to attend magisterial hearings to ensure that these children receive a fair outcome that is equivalent to youth who appear at magisterial hearings with parental support.
Most recently, the Fund has begun supporting the Independent Living Resource Fairs, which introduce teenagers who are either currently in care or whose cases have closed to the wide variety of programs and services available, connecting them to important and valuable resources for their transition out of care and into living independently as an adult.
With the continued growth of the Lipman Youth Fund, KidsVoice is able to maintain its powerful advocacy, while providing new and innovative ways to help its clients.
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