Foster Youth Justice Project Receives Grant to Support Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

AUSTIN, Texas – May 2, 2011 – The Texas Foster Youth Justice Project (FYJP) has received a $12,000 grant from the Texas Bar Foundation to support its work helping youth who age out of the foster care system and to distribute copies of the popular publication “A Guide for Those Aging Out of Foster Care in Texas.”

The Texas Foster Youth Justice Project, a project of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), was founded in 2007 to provide legal support and guidance to foster youth across Texas. The FYJP aging out guide contains information related to a foster youth’s legal rights while they are in foster care and as they transition to independent living as an adult.  It covers topics including accessing foster youth benefits, obtaining financial aid for college, finding a job and an apartment, securing good credit, and getting health care.

“Youth aging out of foster care rarely have the resources, knowledge, or support to help them navigate through the world alone,” said FYJP director and TRLA attorney Mary Christine Reed. “The support of the Texas Bar Foundation will go a long way in helping us reach youth aging out of the system and provide them with a valuable resource.”

The FYJP estimates that there are more than 1400 youth ages sixteen and over in the foster care system and most are without parental support as they move into adulthood.  High caseloads and limitations on ad litem resources often prevent their voices from being heard in the legal system.

Added Reed, “With the assistance of the Texas Bar Foundation, aging out foster youth will know that they are not alone – we are here to help.”

A copy of the most recent “A Guide for Those Aging Out of Foster Care in Texas” can be found online at http://www.texasfosteryouth.org.

Established in 1970, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA) is a nonprofit organization that provides free civil legal services to low-income and disadvantaged clients in a 68-county service area. TRLA’s mission is to promote the dignity, self-sufficiency, safety and stability of low-income Texas residents by providing high-quality civil legal assistance and related educational services. For more information visit us online at http://www.trla.org.

Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $12 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation’s largest charitably-funded bar foundation.

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