Barry University’s School of Social Work and the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) partnered to launch a two-week program designed to give former foster youth and independent living teens ages18 and older the training they need to adequately prepare for the workforce.
The Fostering Success: Summer Training Program, an immersion experience hosted on Barry’s main campus in Miami Shores, took place from June 17–30. Twelve former foster youth were provided training and exposure to developmental and professional job skills. This training was specifically structured to quickly build long-term work habits and confidence — from the fundamental skills of professionalism, presenting content and stress management to the more subtle and sophisticated skills of taking initiative and leading a group.
Through this experience, participants identified and connected with a mentor, had the opportunity to utilize the learned skills on group presentations, and at the end, received a certificate of completion. “The goal of the program was to help these youth develop the habits, attitudes, and skills needed to get and keep a job, become self-sufficient and economically stable, and reach personal success” said Dr. Jennifer Williams, BUSSW’s Undergraduate Director and Project Coordinator.
The trainings covered several topics including: human resources; professionalism; leadership; financial literacy; conflict resolution; stress management; mindfulness; self-awareness and self-care; cultural diversity; public speaking; relationship building — in and out of the workplace; resume writing; interview preparedness; and understanding emerging technology.
DCF chose Barry as a partner because the University’s School of Social Work houses one of six clinical graduate programs in the country and is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. It is one of the few social work programs in the country whose curriculum provides a trauma-informed resiliency-based framework — knowledge DCF believes is vital when working with the Fostering Success participants. Additionally, says DCF, Barry is able to provide competent, ethical and professional social workers to deliver the trainings.
Click here to watch news coverage of the program!