Fostering Futures is an 8 hour training curriculum that equips CASA advocates with skills and strategies to engage older CASA youth in goal setting and planning for life after foster care. Using the “Possible Selves” model, Fostering Futures allows CASAs to become partners with youth in setting goals to guide their futures. Research shows that imagining and planning for positive goals is a strong motivator and predictor for achievement.
Trained CASAs work with teens to help them discover their interests and learn the process of planning to meet long-term goals. They discuss what it would take for the teens to reach their future goals, and the CASA enters the teen’s goals into the court record. Then, for the remaining time that the teen is in foster care, the CASAs will use this document as the blueprint to advocate in support of their goals.
Advocacy might include seeking more tutoring in critical subjects, support for extracurricular activities, visits with an adult in the teen’s dream occupation, continuing in their foster home beyond age 18, and finding opportunities for internships or specialized coursework. Staff members conduct the initial training and provide coaching and support for volunteers as they implement strategies outlined in the curriculum.