Youth Development

Just in Time for Foster Youth

Just in Time for Foster Youth engages a caring community to help transition-age foster youth, ages 18-26, achieve self-sufficiency and well-being in San Diego.

aka Just in Time, JIT

San Diego, CA

Mission

Just in Time engages a caring community to help transitioning foster youth achieve self-sufficiency and well-being. We envision a future in which every youth leaving the foster care system has a community of caring adults waiting for them after 18. We believe consistent, long-term help from the heart is the foundation for the success of our youth so that they can thrive and enjoy productive, satisfying lives.

Ruling Year

2007

Executive Director

Mr. Don Wells

Main Address

Mailing Address: PO Box 601627

San Diego, CA 92160 USA

Keywords

Transition Youth Life Foster At risk JIT Just in Time

EIN

20-5448416

 Number

7586895025

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

The lives of foster youth have been defined by persistent, multi-generational lack of health equity. Conditions that lead to removal from families struggling with challenging home environments are often the beginning of marginalization that becomes the norm as they move through foster care. Just in Time for Foster Youth (JIT) services are designed to address the impact of these Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) by providing knowledge, resources, positive experiences and supportive relationships that reduce further trauma and toxic stress while fortifying self-regulation skills, core capabilities, and physical, emotional and mental health that makes them less likely to suffer from outcomes that exposure to ACEs would predict. Our goal is to engage a caring community to help transition-age foster youth in San Diego County, ages 18-26, achieve self-sufficiency and well-being to become Confident, Capable and Connected.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Emergency/Basic Needs

My First Home

College Bound/Learning to Succeed/Master Your Dream

Career Horizons/Bridges to Success

Financial Fitness

Pathways to Financial Power/NEXTjobs

Rise to Resilience

Changing Lanes/Auto Access

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Total number of services touchpoints (financial distributions/resources/staff connections) to participants FY19

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

FY19 total touchpoints number is 17,372, an increase of 85.2%

Number of unduplicated/unique transition age foster youth (18-26) served FY19

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

795 unduplicated/unique youth served FY19

Toal number of active volunteers (all categories) FY19

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total volunteer hours FY19

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Skilled & unskilled hours, Coaches/Mentors account for 23% of all volunteer hours

Total My First Home furnishings set-up FY19

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

My First Home

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context notes

125 My First Home set-ups in FY19

Total Emergency Basic Needs distributions FY19

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Emergency/Basic Needs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context notes

FY19 442 Emergency/Basic Needs distributions

Total College Bound participants since 2007

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

At-risk youth

Related program

College Bound/Learning to Succeed/Master Your Dream

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

80% enrollment/graduation rates over the lifetime of the service

Percentage of College Bound participants enrolled/graduated since 2007

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

At-risk youth

Related program

College Bound/Learning to Succeed/Master Your Dream

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Percentage of youth saving each month after partcipating in Pathways to Financial Power

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

At-risk youth

Related program

Pathways to Financial Power/NEXTjobs

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Increase from 22% before Pathways participation

Percentage of young men after participating in Bridges to Success who say they have someone they can talk to about thier problems

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

At-risk youth

Related program

Career Horizons/Bridges to Success

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Up from 30% before Bridges to Success participation

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

For most young people who have experienced foster care, the system that was intended to protect them has failed. In their young lives, they faced the abuse and or neglect that caused them to be removed from their homes, but also the significant barriers to critical necessities like stable housing, reliable healthcare, food security, and consistent access to education. Then, when they leave the system at a stage in life when every young person needs someone they can rely on who can buffer the powerful changes they are going through and model healthy coping strategies, most transition age youth are socially isolated with no stable relationship to an adult, no trusted community, and no safety net. And, when they have children that they are not prepared to care for, the cycle continues. Traditional solutions and conventional thinking about services for youth who ‘age out’ of foster care without permanent families has not broken the cycle because it only addresses the current “presenting problem” with a focus on resources to create “self-sufficiency.” This has resulted in “solving” immediate deficits by providing transitional housing for a limited period, access to college scholarships, and job and life skills training. This program-focused approach has largely ignored the underlying roots of marginalization of foster youth populations and the impacts of the high levels of toxic stress that most foster youth have experienced that create the critical need for positive relationships and a reliable community of support combined with access to resources. Just in Time for Foster Youth’s (JIT) model disrupts the “Programs/Systems” mindset and replaces it with a “Youth-Centric/Community” framework that broadens the scope of issues to be tackled in a unique and more effective way. People thrive in healthy communities that they create, not systems that act on them. This shift in focus honors relationships, allows individualized support, respects the participants’ empowered role in their own transformation, and encourages an interconnected/collaborative approach to achieve lasting impact. Resources offered in the context of supportive relationships are more effective and more likely to have durable impact. The JIT mission is to engage a caring community to help transition age youth (18-26) achieve self-sufficiency and well-being. Over the last 16 years, JIT’s model has combined a wide variety of resources with the opportunity to develop close personal relationships with adult volunteers and lived experience youth. We meet youth where they are and empower them to learn and grow into confident, capable, connected adults. By making connection to community the foundation of the solution, JIT ensures a more sustainable and durable change in the lives of those we serve.

As a general rule, our society allows young people ample time to finish school, begin a career and build a support network prior to expecting them to be on their own. Yet, we expect 18-21 year old foster youth to fend for themselves with no familial safety net, limited success in post-secondary education, no financial security and a system filled with critical barriers, unaddressed gaps in resources, and low expectations for change. JIT is uniquely focused on developing a new model for durable change for former foster youth by mobilizing the community as an extended family for young people in transition, providing the consistent authentic relationships and emergency resources they need to achieve productive lives. This means managing hundreds of engaged volunteers for an effective model for relationship based service. Although our service area is San Diego County, we intend to create a model for change that can be exported to other communities. JIT services meet the expressed needs of our youth by providing resources for both short-term stabilization and long-term capacity building. • Emergency Basic Needs/Healthy Practices: Knowledge of and access to support systems, including housing, employment support, educational options, life planning, and health care • My First Home: Home furnishings to establish a safe, stable, supportive place to live • Career Horizons/Financial Horizons: Opportunity for female participants to build confidence and connect with a network of coaches • Bridges to Success: Opportunity for male participants to build skills and connect to resources in a supportive environment of success • Financial Fitness: Individualized financial planning assistance and resources, including match savings up to $4,500 • College Bound: Opportunity and resources to continue and meet higher education goals, including Study Abroad and post-graduate school • Changing Lanes: Empowers youth to become good drivers and purchase reliable transportation • Pathways to Financial Power/NEXTjobs: Provides comprehensive guidance to achieve financial security through strategies that lead to meaningful work and smart money management • Rise to Resilience: Committed to help participants thrive on the same level as young people without a history of toxic stress. R2R focuses on six key strategies to manage and lessen the consequences of toxic stress: nutrition, exercise, sleep, healthy relationships, mindfulness, and trauma-informed therapy. JIT currently serves approximately 800 transition age youth annually, 18-26, majority female (65%). The ethnic backgrounds served are Hispanic (34%), African-American (26%) Caucasian (25%), Native Americans (2%) and other identified (13%).

JIT’s services increase true equity and inclusion. They are based on the recognition that if lifelong disparities in access to safety, resources and positive connections are not addressed, simply giving someone temporary housing, a scholarship to college, and job training can actually further traumatize a young person and reinforce a sense of failure when they don’t have the basic foundational skills necessary for them to succeed. Our consistent, durable vision is for JIT youth to attain self-sufficiency levels significantly higher than the unacceptable national averages by providing essential resources and crucial relationships at critical junctures delivered by a caring family of volunteers. Our core belief is that disconnection remains the central, lingering "gap" for foster youth once they are removed from their parents, a void that continues through multiple placements and after the date of emancipation. All of JIT’s services are designed and delivered with this fundamental understanding. Each one is adaptable to individual and specific self-identified needs. Youth Services coordinators, all with lived experienced in foster care, are the leads in providing the appropriate resources and experiences from participants’ introduction to the JIT community until they turn 27, an extended window of service that recognizes the need to build capacity over time to overcome past inequities. Working with JIT staff, long-term volunteer coaches, peer mentors and a stable community they remain connected to even beyond service eligibility, the gaps in development caused by childhood toxic stress are closed. In FY2019, JIT’s community of 28 team members and over 600 volunteers served almost 800 unduplicated transition age foster youth by providing resources and connections across multiple services to move the needle significantly for every young person who eligible for our assistance. We employ former foster youth as staff in leadership roles and service delivery. There is tremendous power in seeing yourself in the person you reach out to when you must share your story and vulnerability. And more power in being able to see your possible success in theirs. A life of uncertainty and disconnection is the core obstacle for transition age foster youth; therefore, consistent connection is the core solution. Engaging youth in consistent relationships with volunteers is a foundational element of our mission. Timely intervention at a critical juncture is the difference between hope and despair. Our focus is on individual empowerment, earned trust, and consistent, proactive response to youth in need. We believe that every young person has the power to create his/her own success, and our individualized service views participants as our collaborative partners.

Just in Time's ability to meet our intended results is measured for both quantitative outputs and qualitative lasting impact. JIT tracks every youth participation, every disbursement of funds and services, tracks hoped for behaviors, and surveys for changes in attitudes and beliefs. We use a baseline survey for each new participant to determine their status on measures around education, housing stability, employment, financial status, and positive connections then utilize a self-sufficiency score as a foundation to recommend resources and for future evaluation. JIT’s performance-based evaluation process is dynamic, fluid, and iterative. The effectiveness of JIT's model is measured with both quantitative and qualitative data and evaluated in two ways – specific targeted outcomes for resources available to all JIT participants, with both outcomes and impact data measured for those engaged in meeting our three core intended impacts. 1. Transition age foster youth achieve financial security By this we mean youth are able to: define and are invested in their own self-sufficiency and path to success; attain the evolving education needed to support their aspirations; develop translatable skill sets; learn and use the most effective methods to acquire meaningful employment; build the knowledge to access essential resources and confidently navigate the workplace; learn and practice effective financial management, including budgeting, savings and establishing strong credit. 2. Transition age foster youth develop and leverage supportive relationships By this we mean youth have a strong understanding of the essential importance of relationships and connections to achieving their personal and professional success and well-being; establish, grow and leverage a network of relationships in order to thrive; seek out and thrive in interdependent communities that empower them to accept themselves, embrace support, and have the satisfaction of giving back to others. 3. Transition age foster youth define themselves, their power and their future By this we mean youth have awareness of their strengths and put them to work to overcome obstacles and advance their goals; are consistently proactive rather than reactive; demonstrate the personal confidence and resiliency to successfully navigate life's challenges, setbacks and opportunities; develop their own authentic voice to share their own stories and become effective advocates for themselves and others. All of the data is collected by Youth Services Coordinators and analyzed to prove the efficacy of our design or improve our offerings for the future. We also use third party research periodically to test our methodology and assumptions.

At Just in Time, when we talk about achieving significantly higher self-sufficiency levels than the “unacceptable national averages”, we are referring to changing the traditional snapshots of negative outcomes for youth post-foster care that have been reported from various studies over many years. Statistics such as: • Approximately 25% of former foster youth reported being homeless within 2 to 4 years • Foster youth are 14 times more likely drop out of college than the general population • 1 in 4 were involved in the criminal justice system within 2 years of leaving care. • 7 out of 10 girls who age out of foster care will become pregnant before the age of 21 Our goal is to both preventative and proactive, meaning our services are designed to help youth with the knowledge, resources and relationships to become Confident, Capable and Connected, changing the current picture for our participants and predicting future success. For example, for approximately 800 youth served in the last fiscal year, some participant results were: • 237 received emergency Basic Needs assistance, including rent to avoid homelessness • 125 had My First Home set-ups to allow resources to be prioritized for other purposes • 96% of 2018 College Bound students were still enrolled after the first year • The enrollment/graduation rate for all College Bound participants (2007-2018) is 80% • Less that 0.5% of active participants have any reported criminal justice involvement • Only 40 of the our participants 21 and under are parents Other JIT outcomes are gathered around four essential factors that help transform the lives of the young people we serve. Each of our services is designed to achieve and track those factors over time through multiple intended impacts. For example: 1) Fills Gaps In Knowledge & Experience Pathways to Financial Power participants learn and practice effective financial management, including budgeting, savings and establishing strong credit % of Youth saving money each month 22% Before Pathways 70% After Pathways 2) Identify Self-Limiting Beliefs & Real Personal Strengths After College Bound, 47.5% fewer participants felt academically limited because of past foster care experience and 100% stated they had the necessary resources to achieve their academic goals 3) Take Ownership of Their Stories & Authentic Voice 89% of Walk the Talk participants were confident their stories has value 80% of participants believe their story deserves to be shared 4) Connections to Trusted Relationships with Supportive Adults/Positive Peers. Post- Bridges to Success for Youth Men participants have someone they can talk to about their problems Before B2S: 30% After B2S: 82% This year we will also launch our Lasting Impact Fulfillment Tracking (LIFT) project to track specific self-sufficiency and well-being outcomes post-JIT, by surveying past participants from 27-35 years of age.

How We Listen

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

Source: Self-reported by organization

the feedback loop
check_box We shared information about our current feedback practices.
How is the organization collecting feedback?
We regularly collect feedback through: electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), paper surveys, focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), case management notes.
How is the organization using feedback?
We use feedback to: to identify and remedy poor client service experiences, to identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, to make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, to inform the development of new programs/projects, to strengthen relationships with the people we serve.
With whom is the organization sharing feedback?
We share feedback with: the people we serve, our staff, our board, our funders, our community partners.
What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?
It is difficult to: we don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback.
What significant change resulted from feedback
Based on feedback and observations about a need for a stronger focus on participant well-being, we launch our Rise to Resilience service with extensive feedback from the youth to be served and led by a staff member with lived foster care experience.

External Reviews

Awards

Star Awards for the nonprofit organization and business making a positive impact on the prevention of child abuse in San Diego County 2009

County of San Diego, Commission on Children, Youth, and Families

Kathryn Vaughn, JIT Founding President 2010

California Volunteer of the Year

Neighborhood Builders Award 2012

Bank of America

Outstanding Young Nonprofit Professional 2010

Young Nonprofit Professionals Networs

Capcacity Building Partnership Grant 2014

San Diego Social Venture Partners

Commissioners' Award 2014

San Diego Ciunty Juvenile Justice Commission

Photos

Financials

Just in Time for Foster Youth

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Yes

Organizational Demographics

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 09/03/2019

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & Ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender Identity
Male
Sexual Orientation
Decline to state
Disability Status
Decline to state

Race & Ethnicity

Gender Identity

Sexual Orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity Strategies

Last updated: 09/03/2019

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data

done
We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
done
We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
done
We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.

Policies and processes

done
We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
done
We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
done
We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.