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Press Release

New Hampshire Foster Youth Convene For Independent Living Conference
"Step Up Into The Future: There is an App for that”
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Public Information Office
(603) 271-9391

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Publish Date:
August 7, 2014

Concord, NH – Over 100 New Hampshire youth are gathering today at Manchester Community College to participate in the 10th Annual Division for Children Youth and Families (DCYF) Teen Conference. This all-day learning experience is designed to address the unique needs of older adolescents making the transition from “out of home care” to adulthood and independence.

“This is a great opportunity for youth to come together, and share experiences and resources as they make the transition to independence,” said Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “This is also a chance for them to hear first-hand from other young adults about skills that will help them as they take the next step in their lives.”

FosterClub, an Oregon based organization that was founded on the belief that youth who have successfully transitioned from foster care to responsible young adulthood are best suited to impact the transition of their younger peers, provided the keynote presentation. FosterClub presented at the first annual DCYF Teen Conference in 2005 and a new team of All-Stars between the ages of 18-24 returned to New Hampshire to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of this event.

FosterClub presented their signature event, Independence City, a “life on your own” simulation game designed to teach young people how to access community resources to help overcome obstacles they will encounter as they transition into adulthood. Attendees also received information on college degrees and educational certificates, finding permanency, earning and budgeting money, being a self-advocate, and resources to assist them as they transition to adulthood. Awards were given to youth and adults that had the most significant positive impact on youth in foster care.

“This conference highlights our efforts to join with youth in preparing for their future,” said DCYF Director Maggie Bishop. “Over the past few years DCYF has supported initiatives that have involved youth in addressing the issues affecting their lives. It’s critical for child welfare agencies to examine their relationships with youth, and establish opportunities to partner with them. This conference is one of those valuable opportunities."

NH Youth Voices selected the theme of this year’s conference: Step Up Into the Future: There is an App. NH Youth Voices (DCYF youth advisory board), the University of New Hampshire Center for Professional Excellence in Child Welfare (UNH CPE), and FosterClub who provided the keynote presentation and the conference workshops all co-sponsored the event.

 
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