The creation of the caregiver's group grew out of the feedback from youth, caregivers, and interns from the previous year. It was determined that the caregivers needed to be involved in their youths' EASE-IN treatment plan. Subsequently, EASE-IN implemented an exciting new caregiver's group to assist parents in understanding the unique needs of their foster youth. The caregivers have a place to talk about their experiences and solicit feedback from other caregivers as well as students and DCFS staff.
EASE-IN also implemented a Mentee training this year to assist youth in the program to understand what it means to have a mentor and how a mentor could help them transition to adulthood successfully.
The youth and interns had an opportunity to participate in their very own step show hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha from Cal State Northridge. The youth really had an opportunity to experience what it is like to be involved in a fraternity/sorority and get a taste of the college life. They were able to dance and groove as well as learn about the history of African American Greek organizations. Other Joint Group topics included inspiration from former foster youth and other community partners, such as Charles Lee Johnson, Executive Director of the Rites of Passage Program.
The youth and interns visited a nursing home for one of their outings. The youth sang holiday carols, made arts and crafts, and had lunch with the aging population in the nursing home. The outing helped youth understand the unique needs of the aging population. Other outings included trips to the snow, UCLA basketball game, and helping at a Skid Row homeless shelter.