PAL helps Foster Children Transition
POSTED: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 - 5:44pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 1:40am
TYLER - A program to help foster kids who are "aging out" of the system got the O.K. to continue in East Texas.
The program is called Preparation for Adult Living, or PAL, and it teaches foster children life skills so they can survive on their own.
When kids in foster care get too old for the system, they're basically sent out on their own.
Salomon Ortiz was in the foster care system for about 6 years.
When he got out, he found it difficult to do things like buy a car or look for a place to live.
That's why the PAL program exists. It's to help kids who are too old to be in foster care with skills like balancing a checkbook or finding a job or a college.
Ortiz attended the PAL program, but he says sometimes there's no substitute for parents.
"It's hard not having your parents around teaching you all the regular lessons regular kids would learn from their moms and dads," Ortiz explains.
The PAL program is expanding to include facilities in Tyler, Longview, Marshall, Palestine, and Lufkin, among other cities in East Texas.
It projects these new locations will serve 200 youth who are transitioning out of foster care.