Among the 6,300 kids in Nebraska’s foster care system every year, the long-term prospects aren’t good. Each year, 260 young people age out of the foster care system. That means that at age 19, they may be cut off from the array of foster care support and services provided by the state, and sent to figure out life on their own. Youth aging out of foster care without guardianship or permanency face joblessness, homelessness, persistent mental health issues, unintended pregnancy and a myriad of other challenges.
This innovative, youth-led program has achieved success addressing the policies affecting youth aging out of foster care. Project Everlast works to actively remove barriers that keep youth in foster care from achieving permanence, educational achievement, employment, housing, physical and mental health, personal and community engagement, and economic success.
Because of the outstanding results in the Omaha program, Project Everlast is in the process of expanding to Lincoln and statewide.
Originally a part of Project Everlast, Camp Catch-Up quickly developed a life of its own. This unique weekend camp allows siblings who are placed in different Nebraska foster homes to reunite and reconnect. The weekend is staffed with medical personnel and volunteer camp counselors. Through supervised activities and free play time, kids ages 8-19 have a chance to enjoy a real vacation while rekindling family bonds that can be strained in the day-to-day difficulties of the foster care system.