Program to help BK, city foster children unveiled

Mayor Bloomberg announced a plan Thursday to help children leaving foster care become financially independent.

Youth Financial Empowerment is a program to help foster children prepare themselves for life after foster care. Children who participate in the program must regularly deposit money into a savings account and set that money aside for adulthood. The program will match the amount. Bloomberg said participants will also be instructed on how to better manage money and bank accounts.

Officials say about 400 children will participate in the pilot program, which will kick off this fall.

One in four children leaving foster care will become homeless, according to Bloomberg. The mayor also said about 60 percent of the children will be unemployed for the first 16 months out of care.

Bloomberg was urged to start this program by officials from his poverty commission in an attempt to reduce high poverty rates in the city.

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