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

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

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

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

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)