The show notes and recordings of AOI’s podcast series are below.
You can also find the show on Podbean, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Pandora, Stitcher, TuneIn, Listen Notes, Podbay, Blubrry, Vurbl, & iHeartRadio.

The Aging Out Institute podcast is AMAZING! It's a space for conversations about access, opportunities, and discovery as youth transition from foster care programming into adulthood. As an educator and nonprofit leader, I look for ways to connect with people making a difference and to hear about real work happening in communities across the country. Listening to an episode gives me that time to get inspired and find resources for youth.

Andrea FerreroCo-Founder/Executive Director, Pockets Change

I’m a super fan! In my role promoting post-secondary educational opportunities for youth in foster care, the AOI podcasts have proved an invaluable connection to similar programs in other states. As a consequence, opportunities available to Montana foster youth have been enhanced. The devotion and creativity evidenced by interviewees is exceptionally motivating—it’s great to realize there are so many caring adults with wonderful programs all throughout the country.

Rhonda SaffordPrograms Manager, Reach Higher Montana

I've really enjoyed listening to these podcasts and learning about all the tremendous work that is happening around the country. Hearing how different agencies are helping support foster youth in their communities and the unique approaches they use is wonderful! This has been a great resource to have. Thank you Aging Out Institute!

Kate BronnerDevelopment & Volunteer Coordinator, Foster Forward

The AOI podcast series has been an incredibly helpful tool for our new non-profit. Our organization has been encouraged, informed and motivated by the AOI podcast series. Our volunteers and leaders love listening to this podcast and look forward to many more to come!

Angela LippensFounder, Unfaulted

As someone who is always looking to learn more in a field that is ever-changing, resources like the AOI podcast series is a great tool for me to stay updated on how to best serve transition age youth. My hope is that as practitioners, we can all learn from one another and instead of trial and error, we can implement the strategies we know are working in other places so that youth are given the best opportunities for success, post-emancipation.

Brittani Kindle, LCSWProgram Director, Safe Families PLUS

I enjoy the AOI podcast. It gives me an opportunity to learn of the many organizations that have the passion and mission to assist the foster care population.

Patricia Holland, Executive DirectorAll Things New, Inc.

09/06/2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Joann Taijala, Founder and Executive Director of Home Grown in Eureka, California. Joann and Lynn talk about the organization’s unique host home model in which volunteer hosts provide temporary housing in their own homes for youth facing homelessness, including those aging out of foster care.

08/20/2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Dr. Natalie Ellington, Founder and Executive Director of Eileen & Callie’s Place in Kent, Washington. Natalie and Lynn talk about the organization’s mentoring program for young ladies aging out of foster care, their goal of opening a transitional living house, why letting these young people make their own choices is so important, and more.

07/26/2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Samantha Baldassari, Postsecondary Coordinator with C.B. Community Schools in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They talk about how C.B. Community Schools provide academic and support services for older foster youth, the school’s unique model that focuses on competency rather than grade levels (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior), and how they managed through the Covid crisis.

07/12/2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Daniel Crandall, who is a foster parent, speaker, trainer, and Creative Director with a passion for helping youth to create the future they love. Lynn and Daniel talk about the journey that brought him to helping foster youth, the future focus of his work with youth, and the importance of helping young people find hope and meaning in their lives.

06/29/2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Jamie Pfau, co-founder of Peace for All of Us Homes in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada. They talk about the transitional housing program that she and her husband, Kevin, started during COVID, the state of foster youth support in Canada (particularly in Manitoba), and ideas to improve the way the foster care systems in Canada and the USA prepare youth for aging out.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Peace for All of Us Homes
McDonald Youth Services
Protective Factors

06/15/2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Miriam Connolly, LMSW, with Blavin Scholars program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. They talk about Miriam’s background as a social worker in the foster care system, the services that the Blavin Scholars program provides youth aging out of foster care, and ideas to improve the way the foster care system prepares youth for aging out.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
University of MI Blavins Scholars Program
Mott Community College
A Child Called It (book)
Higher Education Systems and Services Consortium
Fostering Success Michigan (support map)
Chafee Life Skills
Michigan Youth Opportunity Initiative
Hands Across the Water

05/30/2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Natalie Chavis Fisher from Indianapolis, Indiana. They talk about Natalie’s work as an attorney in foster care and adoption law, as well as a novel she has written, a documentary being developed, and a television show – all focusing on adoption and aging out of foster care. They also brainstorm solutions that the foster care system could implement that would help youth be better prepared for aging out of care.

NOTE: Use the code FOSTER15 and you can get 15% off foster care apparel and novelty items on Natalie’s website.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Natalie Chavis Fisher
Adopting Tiger (novel)
Foster Care: Perfect Imperfection (documentary)
Children’s Bureau – Independent Living Program
Child Welfare Information Gateway
CASA (national)

05/19/2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Natasha Doan-Motsinger (Executive Director) and Alyssa Silletti (Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator) from Our House in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Natasha, Alyssa, and Lynn talk about the variety of services that Our House provides to help prepare youth in foster care for independence. Their services include mentoring, teaching life skills, providing transitional housing, piloting a temporary host home model, and helping youth build resiliency.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Our House
Zingerman’s Baking and Cooking Classes
Youth Arts Alliance
Washtenaw Community College – Reach Program
Eastern Michigan University – MAGIC Program
DHHS – MiTEAM Practice Model

05/06/2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Sarah North Wolfe, Dawson Promise Coordinator and Interim Dean of Enrollment at Dawson Community College in Glendive, Montana. Sarah and Lynn talk about Dawson Promise’s services supporting youth aging out of care throughout their time as a student at the community college, which includes assistance applying to the college and for financial aid, a summer bridge program before their first year, academic and mental health support, and other services to ensure student success.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Dawson College Community College – Dawson Promise
Howard Gardner Theory of Multiple Intelligences

04/18/2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Tammy Spence, Founder and Executive Director of Second Shift based in Alabaster, Alabama. Tammy and Lynn talk about Second Shift’s many services for youth aging out of care, their “host home” transitional living model; opportunities that could improve the foster care system, and more.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Second Shift
Alia
Alabama Dept. of Human Services
Driving Hope

03/31/2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Jordan Bartlett (Co-Founder) and Denae Esteban (Research Intern) from Doing Good Works based in Irvine, California. Jordan, Denae, and Lynn talk about their organization’s for-profit, social enterprise model; the 10/20/30 structure that enables financial support, mentoring, and employment for youth aging out of care; and more.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Doing Good Works
Western MI University – Fostering Success
One Simple Wish

03/16/2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Rob Scheer, Founder of Comfort Cases based in Rockville, Maryland. Rob and Lynn talk about Rob’s own experience in foster care, the mission of Comfort Cases to eliminate the use of trash bags as suitcases in the foster care system, the importance of providing dignity and hope to youth in care, and more.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Comfort Cases
Fostering Change Podcast
A Forever Family (book)

03/03/2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Whitney Gilliard, Co-Founder and CEO of Gilliard and Company based in Pooler, Georgia. Whitney and Lynn talk about Gilliard and Company’s transitional housing and mentor programs for youth in transition (age 18 to 21), their “Haven Room” for youth entering foster care or between placements, how the program has continued working with youth during the COVID-19 pandemic, and more.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Gilliard and Company
Catham County Division of Family & Children Services
CASA

02/16/2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Patricia Holland, Founder and President of All Things New, Inc. based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Patricia and Lynn talk about the All Things New coaching program for foster youth (both those still in care and those who have already aged out), local partnerships to help foster youth achieve their life goals, how the program was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and more.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
All Things New, Inc.
International Coaching Federation
Dress for Success
Generations United

02/05/2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Greg Rapport, Founder and Executive Director of Age-Out Angels based in Columbus, New Jersey. Greg and Lynn talk about Age-Out Angels’ mentoring program for foster youth (both those still in care and those who have already aged out), how the program was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new partnership with a local community college to help foster youth get caught up educationally, and more.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Age-Out Angels
On Their Own (book)
Mercer County Community College
Eckard Connects
Families First Prevention Services Act
Care Management Organization (CMO)

01/24/2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Sue Evans, Chief Operations Officer of Walden Family Services based in San Diego, California. Sue and Lynn talk about Walden’s transitional housing program for foster youth who choose to participate in the state’s extended foster care services; key strategies for supporting youth who are aging out; how their program was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and more.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Walden Family Services
Human Rights Campaign
John Burton Advocates for Youth
iFoster
Family Focused Treatment Association (FFTA)
CA Alliance of Children and Family Services
Families First Act

01/10/2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Dr. Sebrena Jackson, Founder and Director of the National Social Work Enrichment Program (NSEP) based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Sebrena and Lynn talk about NSEP’s summer program designed to expose older foster youth to the college experience; ideas for improving the foster care system; how their program was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and more.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
University of Alabama – NSEP Scholars
Alabama Department of  Human Resources – IL Program
Chafee Foster Care Independent Living
Toastmasters International
Tuscaloosa Health Department – Making Proud Choices
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative – Opportunity Passport

12/26/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Erin NeSmith, Founder and Executive Director of Grow Into You Foundation in Riverview, Florida. Erin and Lynn talk about their coaching, mentoring, and transitional housing programs; ideas for improving the foster care system; how their program has managed through COVID-19, and more.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Grow Into You Foundation
iPEC
Heart Gallery of Tampa
Chafee Foster Care Independent Living

12/13/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Ann Marie Binsner, Executive Director of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Ann Marie and Lynn talk about how CASA volunteers advocate for foster youth in the courts, the benefits of their advocacy work, the importance of having youth engaged in the planning of their own future, how their program has managed through COVID-19, and more.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
CASA Prince George’s County, MD
National CASA/GAL

12/08/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Lorilynn Violanta, Director of Advancement for NMCAN. NMCAN is an organization that supports youth aging out of foster care through mentoring, coaching, and advocacy. Lorilynn and Lynn talk about NMCAN’s mentoring and coaching programs, strategies that ensure authentic youth engagement in planning their own future, how their program has managed through COVID-19, and more.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
NMCAN
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
Children’s Court Improvements Commission
NM Children, Youth & Families Department
University of NM, Project Echo

11/20/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Jevon Wilkes, Executive Director of California Coalition for Youth. California Coalition for Youth is a program that supports and encourages youth to advocate for their needs to state leaders and decision makers. Jevon and Lynn talk about their advocacy work, how their efforts have helped transition age foster youth in the state, some improvements that the system could make, and more.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
California Coalition for Youth
CCY Youth Empowerment Summit
Point in Time Count
California Children’s Trust

10/27/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Dr. Tiffany Lane, Director/Founder of Almatine’s Goodies and Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Almatine’s Goodies is a program that collaborates with social service agencies, colleges, and universities in the U.S. to provide care packages to former and current foster care youth enrolled in college. Tiffany and Lynn talk about her program, how more positive research is needed to explore the strengths of foster youth, some improvements that the system could make, and more.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
CRAFFT
Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS)
Jonathan C. Smith College
Phenomenal Young Ladies Inc.
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Aging Out Institute Database
Child Welfare Information Gateway

09/12/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Bruin Richardson (Chief Advancement Officer) & Kim Lewis (My Path Forward Life Coach) from Children’s Home Society of VA, particularly focusing on their housing program for youth who have aged out of foster care in Richmond, VA. Bruin, Kim, and Lynn talk about the strategies of their My Path Forward housing and support program, how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted their services, and more.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Chidren’s Home Society of Virginia (CHSVA)
Better Housing Coalition
Truist Bank (Formerly SunTrust)
Great Expectations
Success Foundation of VA
Goodwill 
Virginia Resource Workforce Center
Robins Foundation
Child Trends

08/22/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Sixto Cancel, CEO of Think of Us, an innovation focused organization based in New York City. Sixto and Lynn talk about some of the opportunities for improvement in the foster care system, the housing solution that Think of Us developed for older foster youth during the COVID-19 crisis, and more.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Think of Us
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative

08/08/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Kellie Knox, Senior Director with Fred Finch Youth and Family Services. Kellie and Lynn talk about the transitional housing program (one of many programs) that Fred Finch runs to serve foster youth, the challenges that they have faced and managed during the COVID-19 crisis, and ideas regarding things the system can do to improve its support of foster youth.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Fred Finch Youth and Family Services

07/13/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Mary Kate Howard, Program Director of CASA Youth Advocates serving Chester and Delaware Counties in Pennsylvania. Mary Kate and Lynn talk about the work that CASA does to advocate for foster youth, the details around training CASA volunteers, the challenges that they have faced and managed during the COVID-19 crisis, and things that the system can do to improve its support of foster youth. (NOTE: Mary Kate mentioned in this podcast that their counties are “yellow.” They are “green” now, per PA’s re-opening process.)

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Delaware and Chester County CASA

06/28/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Chris Lopez, Program Manager, and Robyn Parker, Program Outreach Coordinator…both with THRU Project, an organization based in San Antonio, TX. Chris, Robyn, and Lynn talk about the THRU Project mentoring program, as well as the housing program, which is run as a partnership between the organization and a project management company; the challenges that they have faced and managed during the COVID-19 crisis; and things that the system can do to improve its support of foster youth. (Our apologies for the audio issues as one of the guest recordings ended up being a bit choppy.)

Resources mentioned during podcast:
THRU Project
Texas PAL Program
Highland Commercial Properties
Innovative Mentoring Software)
Boysville
San Antonio Area Foundation
TX Dept. of Protective Family Services Trauma-Informed Training

06/16/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Kristi Perez, Founder and Executive Director of Inspire Life Skills Training based in Corona, CA. Kristi and Lynn talk about the Inspire Life Skills Training mentoring program, housing program, and Inspired Scholars higher education support program; the challenges that they have faced and managed during the COVID-19 crisis; and things that the system can do to improve its support of foster youth.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Inspire Life Skills Training, Inc.
Start with Why by Simon Sinek
Pockets Change

06/07/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews David Gurian, National Director of I Pour Life based in Springfield, MO. David and Lynn talk about their Life Strengths program, which is focused on coaching youth aging out of foster care, helping them build self-sufficiency in preparation for adulthood; the importance of starting their coaching program when the youth are younger (16 years old); the challenges that they have faced and solved during the COVID-19 crisis; and things that the system can do to improve its support of foster youth.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
I Pour Life
Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach Program

06/01/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Dr. John DeGarmo, Founder of both the Foster Care Institute and Never Too Late in Monticello, GA. John and Lynn talk about Never Too Late, the residential program he started for young men aging out of foster care; the services he offers organizations, agencies and foster parents; some challenges faced by foster parents; and ideas to improve the foster care system.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
The Foster Care Institute
Never Too Late
Foster Parent Help and Support Group (Facebook)
Dr. DeGarmo’s TED Talk

05/24/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Amber Donovan, Founder and Executive Director of Community of Hope in Cleveland, Ohio. Amber and Lynn talk about Community of Hope’s team-based mentor program designed to build lasting relationships and support youth as they age out of foster care. They also discuss how Amber and her mentor teams are helping their youth be able to manage through the current COVID-19 crisis.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Community of Hope
ACES
Open Table
National Council of Jewish Women
YWCA, Greater Cleveland
Basecamp
Richard Rohr

05/17/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Kate Danielson, the Executive Director of Foster Progress. Kate and Lynn talk about their mentor program designed to help youth aging out of foster care achieve their higher education goals, college road trips for youth, training they conduct for adults working with and mentoring foster youth, and how they are helping their youth they work with be able to manage during the current COVID-19 crisis.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Foster Progress
Foster Care Alumni of America
Illinois Department of DCFS
Good to Great
Dr. Jennifer Geiger, University of Illinois
Dr. Johanna Greeson, University of Pennsylvania

05/10/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Dr. Johanna Greeson, Associate Professor and Managing Faculty Director of The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Greeson shares the research that she has published regarding youth aging out of foster care, the program she has developed on natural mentoring, how important it is for organizations to be able to demonstrate that their programs are supported by research, and a current study she is involved in regarding the impact that the current COVID-19 crisis is having on youth aging out of the system.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
The School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania
Child Well-Being & Child Welfare Specialization
The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research
Fostering Independence Tuition Waiver Program (PA)
National Governors Association Center for Best Practices
California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare
Youth Villages LifeSet Program
Caring Adults ‘R’ Everywhere (C.A.R.E.)
Foster Care to College (FC2C): Fostering Success for the Future
Interventions for Youth Aging out of Foster Care: A State of the Science Review
The Experiences of Foster Youth during COVID-19 (one-page summary)

05/03/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Angela Lippens, the founder of Unfaulted in the Fort Worth area of Texas. Angela and Lynn talk about the mentor program that Angela has developed for young women aging out of foster care, some specific strategies to help youth age out of foster care successfully, and how they are helping the youth they work with be able to manage during the current COVID-19 crisis.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Unfaulted
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Chosen Ones
Godley Grind Coffee
Trust-based Relationship Intervention

04/27/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Madeline Reedy, Senior Director of the TRAC (Transition Resource Action Center) run by CitySquare. Madeline and Lynn talk about the transitional housing and other supports that her program offers youth in foster care and after they have aged out, some strategies to help youth age out of foster care successfully, and how they are helping the youth they work with be able to manage during the current COVID-19 crisis.


Resources mentioned during podcast:

CitySquare
Transition Resource Action Center (TRAC)
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Casey Life Skills Assessment
Texas Workforce Commission
HUD Funds for Foster Youth
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
CitySquare 2018 AOI Award Winner Strategy Paper

04/22/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Naketa Ross, the Executive Director and Founder of ResilientMe, Inc. Naketa and Lynn discuss Naketa’s own experience aging out of foster care, her organization’s approach to building resilience in foster youth, some strategies to help youth age out of foster care successfully, and how they are helping the youth they work with be able to manage during the current COVID-19 crisis.


Resources mentioned during podcast:

ResilientMe, Inc.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

04/15/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Rhonda Safford, the Programs Manager for Reach Higher Montana. Rhonda and Lynn talk about Reach Higher Montana helps foster youth access finances for higher education and supports them while attending college or trade schools, some strategies to help youth age out of foster care successfully, and how they are helping the youth they work with be able to manage during the current COVID-19 crisis.


Resources mentioned during podcast:

Reach Higher Montana
MT Department of Public Health and Human Services
Educational and Training Vouchers (ETV)
Montana Chafee Foster Care Independence Program
Montana Career Information System
Foster Club
TRIO Programs
Hopa Mountain
Dawson Community College Promise Program
Children’s Bureau
Daniel Memorial Conferences

04/05/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Andrea Ferrero, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Pockets Change, as well as Dyalekt, the organization’s Director of Pedagogy. Andrea, Dyalekt, and Lynn talk about Pockets Change and their innovative approach of blending hip hop pedagogy and financial education, different strategies to help youth age out of foster care successfully, and how they are helping the youth they work with be able to manage during the current COVID-19 crisis. (Although based in California, they will provide their workshops throughout the USA.)


Resources mentioned during podcast:

Pockets Change
Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences
Brunch & Budget
Zoom

03/22/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Franco Vega, Executive Director and Founder of The Right Way Foundation in Los Angeles, California. Franco and Lynn discuss The Right Way Foundation employment program for foster youth, different strategies to help youth age out of foster care successfully, and the challenges that they are trying to manage during the current COVID-19 crisis.


Resources mentioned during podcast:

The Right Way Foundation
Court Appointed Special Advocates
Article about Congressional Support of Foster Youth during COVID-19 Crisis
The National Foster Youth Institute
PBS Video on The Right Way Foundation

03/11/2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Brittani Kindle, Program Director at Safe Families PLUS in Chicago, Illinois. Brittani and Lynn discuss the Safe Families PLUS mentoring program, different strategies to help youth age out of foster care successfully, and opportunities for the foster system to improve how they prepare youth for independence.


Resources mentioned during podcast:

Safe Families for Children 
Safe Families PLUS
The Open Table

The CalYOUTH Study
Federal TRIO Programs
AOI Database
Safe Families Plus Strategy Paper

02/27/2020

Aging Out Institute is launching a new podcast series focused on identifying the strategies and resources that effectively prepare older foster youth for aging out of foster care. This first episode is a little indulgent as it is an interview with Deborah Santiago, my sister and fellow traveler through foster care when we were young. ~Lynn Tonini, Founder of AOI


Resources mentioned during podcast:
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative:
Supporting Young People Transitioning from Foster Care: Findings from a National Survey

Chapin Hall, University of Chicago:
The Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth (Midwest Study)