Setting up a new apartment and living independently is challenging for a new graduate with a new job, but if you’re one of the roughly 113 children a month aging out of the foster care system in Southwest Florida the challenge can be even more daunting.
The Children’s Network of Southwest Florida provides independent living training each month for 100 to 125 people turning 18 and preparing to leave the foster care system, according to Aimee McLaughlin. She’s the spokeswoman for the agency that runs the adoption and foster care system in five counties. About 1,500 children are in foster care in Lee, Collier, Hendry, Glades and Charlotte counties.
“We can always use more support for our youth,” McLaughlin said by email. “One agency or one person can’t do it alone. We need mentors, more pro bono services like apartments willing to negotiate, businesses to offer classes, driving schools to offer lessons, etc.”
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