Since 1998, First Place for Youth has grown from serving four young people to being the largest provider of housing and support services for transition-age foster youth in California. Our My First Place™ (MFP) program provides intensive wraparound case management and education and employment supports for young people at a critical time in their lives, as they learn to support themselves and transition from foster care to independence.
The positive impact of MFP is evident in the outcomes of our participants. However, the issues facing foster youth nationwide are too big for any one organization to tackle.
In 2017, First Place for Youth launched our My First Place Network to partner with diverse, data-driven providers across the United States to bring our program to more young people in diverse areas, thereby improving outcomes for youth people and deepening our understanding of the program’s effectiveness.
- Expand the reach of MFP to improve youth outcomes more effectively than possible through direct expansion.
- Build a larger, more varied data set for evaluating the effectiveness of MFP.
- Create a strong coalition that supports and advocates for transition age foster youth and the MFP model.
- Advance the field by supporting organizations’ adoption of performance management systems and data-informed improvement.
The Network Today
We have three network partners delivering or preparing to implement the My First Place model to their clients in 2020—Hopewell, Inc (Boston, MA), The Children’s Village (New York City, NY), and St. Joseph Orphanage (Cincinnati, OH). We have also entered into a public-private partnership with Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative and the Mississippi State Department of Child Protection Services to provide professional development and technical assistance as the state reforms it’s foster care system, and to oversee the Opportunity Passport matched savings program.
In 2019, 60 young people were housed through MFP by our network partners, while in Mississippi, 48 young people were enrolled in Opportunity passport and 1,510 received support from social workers who had gone through First Place training and curriculum.
What Does it Mean to be a Network Partner?
Partner organizations remain independent, but agree to deliver the My First Place model with full fidelity with implementation support and ongoing technical assistance from First Place for Youth.
The benefits for partners include:
- A structured, data-informed program model with a 18-year track record of results and evidence of best practices.
- Improved outcomes in education, employment, housing stability, and healthy living the young people you serve
- Access to proprietary materials including program manual, training modules, and implementation guide.
- Receiving license for data management software, Apricot, forms and reports, and coaching for how to use data to inform and manage program.
- Deep technical and capacity-building assistance.
- Access to innovations from First Place data and evaluation pilots.
- Support in developing fundraising and policy plans.
- Opportunities to engage in a national policy movement to end disparities between foster youth and their peers.
- Access to other My First Place network partners and opportunity to engage in trainings, program improvement initiatives, and policy activities as a network.
Join the Network
If your organization is outside of California and interested in becoming a member of the My First Place Network, let us know!