Episode 84: What Does an Effective Support System Look Like?

Date: January 2023

Length: 57:07

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Subscribe to receive new episodes as they are released.

Transcript:   cwig_podcast_transcript_episode_84.pdf   [PDF, 198 KB]

Youth can face many challenges as they transition to living independently as adults. For youth in foster care, overcoming obstacles may require additional support and skills to be self-reliant. Caseworkers and child welfare professionals assist youth with securing employment, secondary education, housing, financial literacy, and other needs. However, additional support is needed to provide encouragement and stability as youth transition to adulthood. Support systems consisting of helpful, stable adults reinforce the goal of self-sufficiency and give youth a sense of community.

This episode explores how Alternative Family Services (AFS) successfully creates effective support systems for youth in foster care. AFS supports northern Californian families, children, and youth in foster, adoptive, and extended family settings. The AFS clinical model focuses on a highly individualized social support model with a goal of safety, stability, and well-being.

The following individuals feature in this episode:

  • Patty Cala, director of transition age youth services, Alternative Family Services
  • Marsha Lewis-Akyeem, chief executive officer, Alternative Family Services

Topics discussed include the following:

  • The importance of engagement and relationships in creating effective support systems
  • The role of the community in creating effective support systems
  • The strategies to identify supportive adults and prepare them to meet the needs of the youth
  • The impact of support systems on other relationships that youth have