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Foster Care At Norwalk's FCA Hosts Second Annual College Tour

Specialized foster care staff members and youth visited Washington D.C.in April for the second annual college tour.
Specialized foster care staff members and youth visited Washington D.C.in April for the second annual college tour. Photo Credit: File

NORWALK, CONN. -- Twenty-five youth and eight specialized foster care staff members headed to Washington D.C. in April for the second annual college tour for foster care adolescents.

The trip was a unique experience for the teens, as many have never been out of state, stayed in a hotel or seen national monuments. The tour is designed to be educational, social and motivational and allow them to envision their future. This year, students visited Georgetown University, George Washington University and Howard University.

“It’s important for these students to see what’s out there and what’s possible,” said Janeen Reid, supervisor of adolescent services of specialized foster care at Family & Children’s Agency. “These social outings allow the youth to really connect. It’s an experience they can share together.”

According to Reid, many students attend alternative high schools that offer limited exposure to colleges. She hopes this trip will inspire them to pursue college or vocational schools upon graduation.

In addition to visiting the universities, the students and staff visited the National Zoo, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and took a tour of the Capitol, courtesy of Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

“This week-long trip is a testament to the creativity of our specialized foster care staff at FCA,” said Robert Cashel, Family & Children’s Agency president and CEO. “The staff is dedicated to the social and emotional growth of all youth in our programs, and experiences such as these simply would not be possible without their commitment and dedication.”

The program includes medical and therapeutic services for youth with severe medical or emotional issues. In addition, the agency was awarded a grant last year by the Department of Children and Families to begin a new component for children who are experiencing extreme behavioral or emotional problems. The new program component, Family and Community Ties, provides alternatives to, and transitions from, residential placement facilities for foster children.

To learn more, please contact Debbie Tadduni, director of specialized foster care, at dtadduni@fcagency.org or call (203)-855-8765.

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