Priority Partners to Sponsor Maryland CASA Foster Youth Summit
Maryland Managed Care Organization supports Nonprofit’s Efforts to Educate Older Foster Youth
Baltimore, Md. – Maryland Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association is proud to announce Priority Partners as a Platinum sponsor of its 2nd Annual Foster Youth Summit: Pathways to Independence, which will be held on Saturday, June 18 at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. The one-day event is designed to address the needs of Maryland’s older foster youth who are preparing to transition out of foster care.
“With more than half of all foster youth in Maryland over the age of 12, it’s important to educate older youth about the resources available to help them transition out of foster care to living independently,” said Ed Kilcullen, Maryland CASA’s State Director. “Without family or dependable adult relationships, they are at a greatly increased risk of experiencing homelessness, unemployment, incarceration and illness,” he added.
During FY15, Maryland CASA and 15 local programs throughout the state served 1,359 children and youth. Of that 1,359, 33% were between the ages of 12 and 17, and 22% were ages 18 or older.
“The foster care population is a transient population and has many social factors that hinder positive health care outcomes,” said Jennifer Mayer, Manager of Community Health Initiatives for Priority Partners. “As a managed care organization, our goal is to be flexible and provide reasonable accommodations to achieve good health care. We seek to meet our foster care members where they are, and strongly believe that health care is a stabilizing factor in a child’s life,” she added.
The summit will include workshops on topics such as budgeting, higher education options, career development, job search skills, housing, etc., and a resource fair with representatives from various community organizations, service providers, employers and public agencies, who will provide information about services and resources available to address the needs of the youth attendees.
“As youth go through this transitional phase of life, the adolescent population is the most misunderstood, and here at Priority Partners, we feel that health care is an important piece of the puzzle in helping them to navigate these changes successfully,” said Mayer. “We aim to connect with young adults to insure they have a healthy relationship with their primary care provider in order to establish lifelong healthy behaviors,” she added.
Last year, Priority Partners provided comprehensive health services for more than 400 foster children & youth throughout the state of Maryland.
“Our members have access to case management services, special needs resources, health educators, health coaches, transportation and interpretation,” said Mayer. “We have a consumer advisory board, where we welcome member feedback on their member experience and barriers to care,” she added.
“We greatly appreciate Priority Partners’ support again this year, which makes events like this possible,” said Kilcullen.
About Maryland CASA Association
Maryland CASA Association is a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1997 and dedicated to ensuring the rights of all children to safe, permanent homes. This mission is carried out in partnership with fifteen local CASA programs throughout the state, which recruit, train and supervise volunteers appointed by the court to serve as advocates for children under court protection due to abuse and neglect. Currently, CASA serves children in 21 of the state’s 24 jurisdictions. For more information, please visit www.marylandcasa.org or call 410-828-6761.
About Priority Partners
Priority Partners is one of seven Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) authorized by the State of Maryland to provide health care services for over 250,000 Medicaid, Maryland Children’s Health Insurance Program (MCHP) and Medical Assistance for Families recipients. Owned by Johns Hopkins HealthCare and the Maryland Community Health System, Priority Partners has established a statewide network of doctors, health centers, and hospitals offering no and low-cost doctor’s visits, vision care, prescription and over-the-counter medication coverage, immunizations, and hospital coverage.