Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $498,971)
Christian City, LLC will develop and implement a replicable care model within Thrive, a transitional independent living program serving youth ages 18–24 who have aged out of foster care in the state of Georgia. THRIVE provides housing, education, employment, and supportive services to help young adults transition into successful, stable adulthood. By enhancing protective factors and reducing risk factors with a trauma-informed lens, Thrive will work to promote self-sufficiency, break cycles of generational trauma, allow participants to find gainful employment, learn independent living skills, and holistically address the many issues this vulnerable population faces when transitioning into adulthood. Solutions to supporting this population lie in providing holistic supports that promote independent living skills and financial stability. The program will create a replicable model under the Positive Youth Development (PYD) framework, offering stable housing and wraparound supports for adolescent/emerging adults ages 18–24. Strategies and interventions are evidence based and are designed to empower adolescents and emerging adults, promote resiliency, enhance protective factors, mitigate risk factors, and creating lasting community-level impacts. Intervention strategies align with the domains of PYD: Assets and Agency (skill building), Contribution (offering opportunities for advocacy and engagement), and Enabling Environment (establishing healthy relationships, positive norms and expectations, access to safe spaces, and access to an age-appropriate continuum of health and social services). The expected outcomes are increased self-efficacy and autonomy, prosocial relationships, independent living skills, and positive beliefs about the future and abilities. Community level impacts include safer communities, reduced recidivism, and better outcomes for future foster youth. To assess these outcomes under the PYD framework, Christian City will partner with a local university for external evaluation.