For Immediate Release - July 10, 2013

Patrick Administration Hosts 13th Annual Summit for State’s Foster Youth

WESTBOROUGH — Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz and Department of Children and Families (DCF) Acting Commissioner Olga Roche today joined more than 100 foster youth from across the Commonwealth to kick off DCF’s 13th Annual Youth Summit.

The summit offers workshops on: financial literacy, higher education, career options, housing, fitness, cyber safety and safe living.

“Events like this help foster youth across the Commonwealth gain the confidence and knowledge they need to be successful in their transition into adulthood,” said Secretary Polanowicz. “This is just one of the many ways DCF provides a solid foundation to help youth prepare for success, whether it is in the workplace or through higher education.”

The annual event is organized by DCF in collaboration with members of the Department’s Youth Advisory Board. The Advisory Board is comprised of young adults in out-of-home placement who contribute ideas and recommendations to DCF regarding services, policy and best practices.

“Today is about celebrating our amazing young men and women in foster care and helping to prepare them for their future,” said Acting Commissioner Roche. “This event also provides our youth to come together, meet, and build relationships with one another.”

The summit was sponsored for the third year by BNY Mellon, a global investments company. In addition to sponsoring the event, BNY Mellon brought staff members to serve as volunteers for the day and led two workshops focused on financial literacy.

"The DCF Youth Summit is a terrific opportunity for young people in the foster care system to join together, share experiences, and understand how to take charge of their lives," said Joanne Jaxtimer, BNY Mellon regional executive of New England. "BNY Mellon is proud to again support DCF and further our joint commitment to providing foster care youth with the workforce development, financial literacy, and life skills needed to transition into adulthood."

About the Department of Children and Families (DCF)

The Department of Children and Families is charged with protecting children from abuse and neglect and strengthening families. There are approximately 7,000 children in foster care across Massachusetts and 40,000 children in all served by the Department. With the understanding that every child is entitled to a home that is free from abuse and neglect, DCF’s vision is to ensure the safety of children in a manner that holds the best hope of nurturing a sustained, resilient network of relationships to support the child’s growth and development into adulthood. DCF programs include foster care, adoption, adolescent services and domestic violence services.

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