TO CHILDREN AND TEENS WITH THE YOUTH INITIATIVE CAMPAIGN
New Vista is taking bold steps for children and teens with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The organization is implementing the Youth Initiative Campaign to find solutions and help children and teens with IDD in the foster care system.
When a child or teen with IDD is placed in foster care, there are enormous challenges. The alarming magnitude of children with IDD in foster care in Southern Nevada requires intervention and assistance at all levels of the system. New Vista is actively addressing those challenges and engaging in the development of innovative partnerships to address monumental issues and barriers.
The specific issues facing children and teens with disabilities in foster care are staggering. Recent reports document the barriers faced by children with IDD in the foster care system. Many times, health care for children with IDD is often compromised and access to treatment or early intervention programs are lacking. Educational experiences are frequently damaging. Opportunities for placement for children and teens with permanent families and lifelong connections with caring, committed adults are severely lacking. Community experiences often are defined by isolation and frequent relocation.
When teens reach 18 years of age, they age out of the foster care system and the problems become even bigger. Transitioning to an adult life with more independence, there may be little or no help available to them during this crucial period in their lives.
As of August 2016, Nevada reports having 4,275 children in foster care. An estimated 897 children in Nevada’s foster care system have been diagnosed with a developmental disability.
Another concern is that the percentage of students with autism in Nevada exceeds the national rate, and local advocates report that the rate is increasing annually. Within the state of Nevada, Clark County has the highest rate of children/youth ages 6-21 with disabilities.
As an IDD community and industry leader, New Vista provides many levels of support, programming and homes designed specifically for Nevada’s children with IDD in foster care. These include a range of specialized, therapeutic, medical or treatment programs that provide children and youth with disabilities with a team of specially trained foster caregivers, respite care providers, medical professionals and social workers.
New Vista is committed to the IDD community and understands the critical importance of success in realizing its mission. Part of that commitment is to generate awareness to highlight the exceptional needs of children in foster care with IDD and strengthening efforts to care for children and youth with disabilities.
New Vista is a nonprofit organization offering ways to help the IDD community. Visit newvistanv.org to get involved.