Who We Are




An Opportunity for Youth


We represent an opportunity for a group of our youth to be successful in life as they transition to adulthood. While we recognize foster kids aging out of the state system at 18 are not ready to make this transition successfully, that is what is happening. My kids, and most likely yours, were not ready to be on their own at 18 and they had the support of a loving family covering all their needs. Even with that support it is difficult as they moved through this stage of life.

Aging-out happens when a child in foster care turns the age of eighteen without a safe and permanent home. They are deemed adults and are no longer under the purview of the Child Protection Act. To date, twenty-four youth have aged-out of foster care in our area since January 1, 2015. They often leave foster care with the rights to their parents having been terminated sometime during their childhood. They have spent a significant amount of their childhood in a foster home or a group home without a home or family of their own. Often the only constant they have experienced in their life is their community.


Preparing for Adulthood


Youth coming from foster care have had limited experiences preparing for adulthood. The life skills we learn in a home, amongst our family, are the skills that determine our success as an adult. The young adults aging out of foster care rarely have a driver’s license, employment experience or even the simplest of skills such as doing laundry or cooking. Our aged-out youth are still dealing with the trauma and emotional stress they have endured before and during their time in the foster care system. They most often are developmentally delayed and have no life or coping skills to survive within our communities.

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Keeping Our Youth's Community Strong


Before Optimist Youth House, we did not have a home for youth to transition to in the Magic Valley. They are left alone in a world they are not prepared for. Many youth are choosing to leave our community to go to a community that has the services and support they need. This is a decision that is difficult for them. Their community has been their constant. These young adults need the support and guidance of their community to ensure they are successful and not only succeed but thrive as active members of our society.

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