MATP is collaborating with Michigan Alliance for Families (MAF) to expand outreach to and services for youth with disabilities in the foster care system. Youth with disabilities in foster care are at additional risk of struggling in school, being suspended/expelled, and dropping out. Staff from partner organizations began to meet this year to identify barriers and gaps in services and supports and current organizational capacity to meet the needs as well as funding sources and additional partners to address the crisis/needs. Because of the meeting, additional partners sought funding from the State of Michigan to offer IEP advocacy to foster care youth in transition. MATP and MAF are using current federal funding to provide training and supports to youth in foster care and foster parents.
AT access increased as a result of this initiative because of planned trainings and I&A supports to youth in foster care and foster parents as well as offers of demonstrations and open ended loans specific to youth in foster care. An initial joint training for FY 2023 is planned focusing on AT for Trauma for youth in foster care with follow up trainings on AT in the IEP process of transition. This initiative is an on-going initiative planned to reach and address the needs of youth with disabilities in foster care and foster parents. Additional funding will be sought as it is identified to meet the needs of this group that is often forgotten.