Older Youth Readiness

Program Overview

Transitioning into adulthood can be a formidable journey, especially for older youth leaving the foster care system. The Older Youth Readiness program is purpose-built to provide unwavering support to these transitioning youth, preparing them for the path to independence that lies ahead.

Our team of Navigators is the cornerstone of this program. They are dedicated to equipping older youth with the essential skills and strategies needed to navigate life’s challenges and emerge triumphant in adulthood. Each youth is thoughtfully matched with a Navigator who becomes their steadfast guide, offering a wellspring of advice, resources, and wisdom. Together, they cultivate the life skills necessary to overcome hurdles and flourish as self-sufficient individuals. We assist youth in securing suitable living arrangements, ensure access to basic necessities like food and clothing, offer valuable workforce development and job search aid, facilitate access to medical care, support continued education, and deliver financial literacy training.


  • Youth must reside in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Jefferson County, Franklin County, or St. Charles County.
  • Youth is either in foster care, adopted from foster care, or in guardianship with a relative/kin.
  • Youth is between ages 13-24.

What to Expect

The journey begins with the Older Youth Readiness Navigator’s mission to build a solid rapport with the youth. It commences with an initial home visit, followed by consistent and meaningful meetings aimed at nurturing an authentic connection. During these encounters, the Navigator delves into the youth’s needs and aspirations, paving the way for a personalized service plan tailored to help them reach their goals.

For youth aged 13-15, we offer foundational services that guide them through their teenage years, offering essential guidance on utilizing resources like the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program. When they transition to ages 16-21, they enter a comprehensive case management program that addresses pivotal life milestones, such as prom, voter registration, and access to a wide array of support services designed to prepare them for adulthood. From ages 21 to 24, youth enter a consultation phase where our navigators remain an invaluable resource, offering unwavering support whenever needed, even if they’re not directly managing their outcomes.

Upon successfully achieving their goals, the Navigator conducts a case closure assessment and presents the youth with a Life Book, commemorating their time in foster care and highlighting the enduring connections they can rely on.

Program Goals

Our ultimate goal is to empower older youth to blossom into independent, self-reliant adults equipped with the essential tools to construct a thriving life path. We strive to ensure that over 80% of youth are well-prepared for life after foster care, a measure tracked through their Transition Plan. Additionally, we aim to ensure that 70% of youth have identified and strengthened connections with supportive adults. We empower our youth to advocate for their individual needs, endowing them with a profound understanding of available support resources whenever they require assistance. Through comprehensive preparation and mentorship, we actively combat issues like homelessness and other disparate challenges that may arise in the lives of youth impacted by foster care. The program also seeks to help youth move towards interdependence by establishing lifelong connections they can rely on throughout their life path.


Karen Martin – Director of Navigation & Support
1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144

o 314.367.8373
e karenmartin@foster-adopt.org

Older Youth Readiness Inquiry Form