Youth Villages has announced a $4.8 million commitment from the Arnall Family Foundation in support of its programs in Oklahoma, including a public-private partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to provide youth aging out of foster care with a comprehensive set of services.
The gift from the foundation of Sue Ann Arnall includes $2.8 million to launch Youth Villages' YVLifeSet program, which will connect teens in foster care with specialists who work one-on-one with them as they age out of state custody to develop the skills they need to be independent adults and access programs and services. In Oklahoma, about three hundred teens age out of the foster care system every year without being reunited with their families or being adopted. The first coordinated, statewide approach to helping youth aging out of foster care in Oklahoma, the program is expected to cost $12.7 million over the next five years, of which private funders will contribute 36 percent and DHS, using targeted federal funds, will provide the remainder.
"This is an opportunity to help the most vulnerable people in our society, youth without a family support system," said Arnall, who joined the Giving Pledge in 2011 with her then-husband, billionaire oilman Harold Hamm, and re-joined on her own earlier this year. "By supporting programs such as YVLifeSet that have demonstrated positive results, I know that these young people will receive the mentoring and support that they were denied through circumstances beyond their control. It is very exciting to see the many ways the YVLifeSet program helps kids who age out of foster care and are suddenly on their own as they try to navigate life as adults."