OCEAN co-hosted conference strengthens the support system for foster and housing insecure youth
The Orange County Resource & Connection Fair: For Practitioners Serving Housing Insecure & Foster Youth event in April provided valuable resources and networks for educators and professionals to better serve youth needs.
In a committed effort to better support foster and housing insecure youth, and to strengthen the collective network of practitioners serving these individuals, the Orange County Educational Advancement Network (OCEAN) and several county partners hosted a resource and connection conference in the spring.
The event was co-designed over an 18-month period with community partners, who identified the need to improve knowledge of social services and programs available to support youth and families, and strengthen relationships between professionals for greater coordination and responsiveness to youth needs.
Along with OCEAN, the event was hosted by the Orange County Department of Education, Orange County Social Service Agency and Orangewood Foundation. It was made possible by the generosity of Marji and Roger Davisson, and a grant from the Spencer Foundation to launch a research-practice partnership that is focused on improving services for foster and housing insecure youth.
The program included introductory remarks from leaders of UCI and Orange County organizations serving foster and housing insecure youth, a keynote lecture on insights from recent research by UCI Professor Jodi Quas, partner-led workgroups and stories from individuals who have experienced life as housing insecure or foster youth.