Carolina Youth Development Center, in partnership with One Economy Corporation, has received an $82,000 planning grant from the Andrus Family Fund of New York for a pilot program to bring technology access, training and resources to foster youths as they exit foster care into independence.

This grant is the third in four years that CYDC has received from the Andrus Fund.

CYDC and One Economy will design and create Life Transitions Through Technology, a pilot for youths ages 17-21 in foster care that follows them as they build new lives beyond the child welfare system. The pilot is modeled on the Andrus Fund’s Transitions Framework.

CYDC and One Economy will recruit foster youths, paid consultants/participants, from the tri-county area. The consultants/participants represent youths who will help plan the new program. CYDC will provide leadership and life-skills services through its existing Leadership for Life program, and One Economy will provide the technology access, training and content. The Transitions Framework will be the primary tool in the pilot initiative.

CYDC’s Leadership for Life program focuses on preparing students for life after group home care. These areas include developing coping skills, becoming financially literate, practicing self-care and maintaining healthy relationships, using public transportation and finding and maintaining adequate housing. The Bakker Center’s readiness curriculum also includes money management, budgeting, consumer education, use of credit, interpersonal skill building, educational advancement and job attainment skills.

Founded in 1790 as the Charleston Orphan House, the Carolina Youth Development Center has served Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties for 221 years by providing shelter, safety and treatment services to abused, neglected and abandoned children.