Foster Care Support Services

How Pathway Supports Foster Parents

Our team of dedicated Youth Support Specialists (YSSs) act as encouragers and constant support systems for Pathway children and teens.

YSSs spend 2-3 hours per week for one-on-one mentoring with individuals who may be in foster care, have been adopted, or children from the community. During this time a therapeutic goal is worked on, as deemed appropriate by each child’s counselor.

Mentors and activities provide children and teens with experiential and cultural enrichment, opportunities to build self-esteem, encourage exercise and personal hygiene, improve social skills, work on manners in public, and assist with learning needed living skills.

This program is a wraparound support service offered to our Licensed Foster Caregivers and the community.

EVERY Mentorship Matters

Mentoring creates meaningful connections. The more healthy adult relationships a child forms, the greater their ability to overcome and cope with past traumas.

Did YOU know? Children who are at risk but have a foster care mentor as part of positive interventions are…

  • 52% less likely to skip school
  • 55% more likely to enroll in college
  • 81% more likely to participate in school activities
  • 78% more likely to volunteer

Our Youth Support Specialists (YSSs) are responsible for three services: one-on-one mentoring, group support, and childcare for training.

One-on-One Mentoring with Children

A YSS is assigned to spend usually 2-3 hours a week or bi-weekly with a youth in our Foster Care. Our YSSs also work with youth who have been adopted from the community or youth who come from a biological family that need extra help. During mentoring, the YSS can take the youth to various activities of the youth’s choice: a movie, the park or bowling for example. While spending time with their foster care mentors, a goal is worked on as well, including social skills, self-esteem or anger issues.

Group Support for Teens

A YSS is assigned to help with our Transitional Age Independent Living (IL) group activities. Sometimes a YSS will be asked to just be an extra hand or to help take youth out into the community.

Childcare for Ongoing Foster Parent Training

Two YSSs will be assigned to help with childcare while Pathway is having training at the office. Most of the time, the youth attending will be foster youth. We will have programming for the night by giving the children activities to do while they are waiting for the training to be over.

Ohio BRIDGES Program

Pathway staff and liaisons provide services available through BRIDGES, a post-emancipation support program in Ohio that extends housing and other supportive services to former foster youth. These young adults are eligible to apply and participate at the age of 18, until they reach the age of 21. Our goal is to provide support and sustainable independence to these young men and women.

For more info, visit the BRIDGES website.