SPAIN: New Program Helps Youth Aging Out of Foster Care in the Canary Islands
(MissionNewswire) Once older youth age out of foster care they are often left without resources, little support and no idea where to go next. It can be difficult to find a place to live and locate and maintain stable employment. Very often these young people do not have an existing or adequate social network to provide them the support they need to live life fully as an adult.
To assist youth who have found they have aged out of foster care but aren’t quite ready to live on their own, the Salesians have started a new program in the Canary Islands, Spain. Proyecto Don Bosco Foundation opened Valdocco House this month, a new social initiative in La Orotava on Tenerife. Valdocco House can accommodate up to six young men age 16 -25 years who need a place to live.
“This program was initiated to help support youth who for various reasons find themselves excluded, maybe coming from foster homes or with other experiences which means that they are now without a home and very vulnerable,” says Miguel Ángel Rojas, director of the Proyecto Don Bosco Foundation. “The Salesians staffing this program take painstaking effort to help these young men with their personal and professional development so they have a better chance of success as they grow into adults.”
The house is in a residential part of the city and has three bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, kitchen and dining room. Young men that enter the program have six months to become better prepared for adulthood. They can focus on further education or find work while receiving the support they need from the staff at the Foundation and other ancillary programs. The house itself serves as a stable environment and a place to enjoy free time and activities offered by the Salesian Family in Tenerife.
This new initiative was made possible thanks to cooperation with the La Orotava City Council. Belén González Rodríguez, Councillor for social welfare, provided full support for the initiative as well as other Don Bosco Foundation projects aiding youth in the city.
“Success and the importance of a structured life is very important for youth,” adds Antonio Expósito, Don Bosco Foundation’s delegate for the northern zone. “Valdocco House will certainly help many young people improve their quality and style of life and allow them to build a future like other young people who do not have such complicated circumstances.”