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In 2005, VOICES became the first program in Napa County focused on supporting former foster youth as they transition out of the statewide foster care system upon turning 18 years old. Since establishing VOICES, the program has shattered local and national preconceptions about the limitations of foster youth by empowering these young people to become independent and effective leaders in the community. Below are only a few of the statistics that demonstrate the reality that former foster youth face and how VOICES has supported over 1,000 youth to attain permanent housing, secure employment, pursue educational opportunities and access needed health services:

A few facts demonstrate our success:
? In California, 65% of youth leaving foster care do so without a place to live?
? 81% of VOICES youth have obtained housing

? Former foster youth experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at twice the rate of US war veterans and nearly 50% of foster children suffer from chronic health conditions such as asthma, visual and auditory problems, dental decay, and malnutrition?
? 63% of VOICES youth have accessed health and wellness services

? By the age of 19, only 57% of emancipated foster youth have received high school diplomas or GEDs?
? 74% of VOICES youth have attained their high school diploma or equivalent

? 50% were placed in paid jobs
? 35% received post-secondary scholarships or financial aid

In addition to providing crucial services, VOICES creates a family-like environment of accountability and support ? assuming the role their parents and the foster care system never did. The program has provided technical assistance to over 20 California counties starting similar programs ? quickly becoming a national model for serving a population of young people who typically end up homeless or in jail. VOICES is now poised to take the model nation-wide with the development of the VOICES National Training Institute.