Growing OAKS is an initiative for Circuit 12. Key leaders from various entities coming together in collaboration to identify gaps in the infrastructure of foster care aging out and produce innovative solutions to those gaps. The Growing OAKS Initiative (OAKS), established as an Align Round Table in February of 2022 and an Align Initiative in August of 2022.
Our mission is to develop, initiate, and grow solutions for individuals, families, and entities engaged with foster youth expanding collaborative efforts to close the gaps from policy to practice throughout our community.
The Align Round Table Initiative aligns civic government, circuit judicial courts, law enforcement, state coordinator, organizations, and current programs to obtain additional support, encouragement, and supplemental services in our county and circuit. Through new legislation, support of current legislation, support of various programs and new ones we come alongside each other to compliment and support the amazing productive work each is doing in supporting foster care aging out and preventing the gaps from continuing. This has and will continue to make a profound community impact with sustainable results in Manatee County and Circuit 12.
Our number one
focus is mentorship.
Building a supplemental mentorship program or building a piece of the puzzle in mentorship programs that can be added to their services.
Our number two focus are the families currently in crises
that are on the waitlist for the CAT TEAM who are not being provided services and connections to resources. Finding a short-term and a long-term solution with implementation for these families in Manatee County helps prevent and reduce Foster Care Children from going into the system as well as provides much needed services to these families.
Our number three
focus is implementing a Collaborative System
that also coordinates efforts for the amazing organizations that currently provide the much needed services for Foster Care Individuals Aging Out of the system.
Our number four focus is establishing recommended policies or solutions based on data, research, and those in the field or specifics that continue to surface at our Round Tables in what you are seeing in your line of work. From the DJJ system, to homelessness, housing, or equitable funding. Connecting individuals with what is already currently being worked on so we are not duplicating or reinventing the wheel for our counties in these areas.