To increase the college graduation rate among foster youth by preparing them through a college exposure program and supporting the whole family with resources, education, and life coaching.
To reform the foster care system by enabling each foster youth to develop a lifetime network of support:
- By engaging caregivers, mentors, and community members to commit to supporting each student
- By assisting biological and foster families in accomplishing their self-identified goals for a more stable home life
- By providing each foster youth with a rigorous academic curriculum to earn a college degree and obtain self-sufficiency
Who We Are
The South Jersey First Star Collaborative is unique because it is the only academy in the nation utilizing the Whole Family Approach to address family instability – the single greatest obstacle to a foster child’s success in school and life.
The South Jersey First Star Rowan Academy is a residential four-week summer program for foster youth strategically located on a college campus with monthly follow-up programs. The Academy model, piloted on the campus of UCLA, provides superior academic support and enrichment to help students prepare for college.
South Jersey First Star utilizes the Whole Family Approach to support family stability in the following ways:
- First Star engages the entire family network as partners in the success of the child. Adult supporters are encouraged to participate in First Star programming and gain access to comprehensive family support services.
- Family Strengthening Network provides each child’s “adult network of support” with one-on-one coaching, small group workshops, and enrichment activities to help bolster the family’s ability to succeed.
- Court Appointed Special Advocates works to ensure that the progress of the child and family is reported to the Judge and additional supports and services are recommended to improve the child’s potential to succeed in school and life.
- Community Treatment Solutions provides supervised visitation services to enable biological parents the opportunity to participate in all of the services, when legally required, and programming offered by South Jersey First Star.
Going forward, the Collaborative works together to align services with DCP&P and coordinate efforts to ensure no duplication of services or “over-servicing” of families.