New hope for kids aging out of foster care

‘You learn things from the program. They teach you to write a résumé, to talk in an interview. They teach you how to keep smiling,” says Kaysanty Cabral. Perhaps this last skill seems like an easy one, but for Cabral, who spent six years in foster care before aging out of the system a couple of years ago, there weren’t so many reasons to smile.

But thanks to a program called America Works, which matches low-skill job seekers with companies that need employees, Kaysanty is beating the odds.

Every year, about 1,200 young people leave New York City’s foster-care system. According to the Administration for Children’s Services, only 20 percent are discharged to the care of a parent, relative or other adult. The rest are on their own.

And they rarely have the tools to manage. Foster youth are 44 percent less likely to complete high school than the general population, and less than half are employed within four years of emancipation. This population is more likely to…

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