ASCC teens need your help to establish happy, productive lives.
Communication is essential to maintaining the balance necessary for a happy and healthy life. Talking and effectively
listening to people opens doors for and strengthens relationships in society. Our personal communication skills are
largely dependant upon our cultural background and unique histories.
Children and adolescents living in foster care are a vulnerable population. Most have emotional, behavioral,
developmental, and health problems that are rooted in the difficult family and environmental circumstances they
came from before entering the foster care system. Once in foster care, they must deal with an array of different
caregivers, caseworkers, and other adults who come in and out of their lives. Many come to distrust adults and hesitate
to form close relationships with them, fearing they may soon leave.
Though foster care is intended to be a temporary placement, some youth end up remaining in the foster care system for
many years, eventually “aging out” when they reach the legal age of maturity. Unfortunately, the legal age of maturity
rarely coincides with mental maturity. Research suggests that without the extended support most families provide young
people in the transition to adulthood, youth leaving foster care face enormous challenges in building successful lives.
With foster youth often changing placements and caregivers, they do not develop effective communication skills and loose
what ability of corresponding they developed. Many are exposed to caregivers who make all decisions for them and the
youth can not participate in open communication and share their interests.
Conflict occurs in situations where there is opposition. Opposition occurs when a solution cannot be found in a
disagreement. Conflict resolution involves identifying areas of agreement and areas of compromise so that a solution
to the disagreement or conflict occurs. Many causes of conflict arise from miscommunication. In these situations,
assertiveness skills are of special need.
How ASCC Makes a Difference
In the ASCC Communication Program, we mentor our youth by providing comprehensive initial training and regular
opportunities for ongoing support to overcome the challenges and uses of open communication. Our staff knows that
making a lasting impression is especially important because foster youth have had so many failed relationships in
the past. The community-based nature of the program requires that mentors be especially well trained, prepared,
Another opportunity that ASCC will bring to the lessons for these youth is communication through writing. Young people
in foster care and juvenile justice systems or low-income neighborhoods rarely have a public voice. Because they have
never had the opportunity to express themselves, their thoughts, their opinions and their desires writing programs can
be enormously empowering. “You can confront the meaning of your experience by writing about it,” says Keith Hefner,
executive director of Youth Communication, a New York nonprofit that has fostered youth writing for 27 years.
We hope that through our emphasis on building communication skills that these youth will enter into the community with
stronger voices in order to speak to their concerns and to better themselves and the world around them.
For more information on the Communication Program or any other ASCC Program, please contact us at 615-283-3013
or email us at