For youth exiting the foster care system, finding a way to access supports and services can be hard.
There are many organizations and agencies that offer service to transition-age youth, but knowing where to look for resources like crisis mental health services, computer access, mentoring opportunities and food banks can be a struggle. Many youth are facing unstable and stressful living situations, barriers that make locating help nearby a challenge.
In Philadelphia, advocates hope that a new app can help these youth. The Youth Matters: Philly app provides a searchable database of more than 350 resources and services aimed at youth from ages 14 to 26. The hours, contact information and location are provided for each resource. Services can be accessed through a map function that allows youth to find out which resources are available in close proximity. The app also lets youth text details about a resource to themselves or others. The listings can be viewed either online or through a cell phone app.
The Youth Matters: Philly app was created through a partnership between the Juvenile Law Center, Johanna Greeson at the Penn School of Social Policy and Practice and Hack4Impact, a student-led tech incubator at the University of Pennsylvania.
The electronic outreach effort was modeled after the B4UGO app developed by Alliance for Children’s Rights and Children’s Law Center for youth in Los Angeles County.
Check out more information about the Youth Matters: Philly app here.