LadLake and M & I Bank work to protect local children
May is Foster Care Awareness Month, and one leading Milwaukee agency has found a unique way to increase awareness of the plight of foster care youth through the Project Pinwheel campaign. With support from M & I Bank, Lad Lake continues to address the needs of local young people.
LadLake, an agency with more than 100 years of success working with young people, launched Project Pinwheel in 2008 to heighten awareness about the needs of youth in foster care, specifically the more than 800 that “age out” of the system annually when they turn 18 years old. Each year, 250 youth age out of the system in Milwaukee and LadLake works with approximately half of this population. This year, Lad Lake has partnered with M & I, in an effort to best serve the many children moving through Wisconsin’s Foster Care System.
One of the top priorities of Project Pinwheel is raising awareness about youth aging out of the system and Lad Lake’s desire to extend benefits to foster care youth to age 25 and allowing them additional time to prepare for independent living.
“At LadLake, one of our focuses is on the aging out of children enrolled in foster care. This collaboration will provide a seamless transition to those young adults as they “age out”. “At age 18, young people are not ready to live on their own,” said Gary Erdmann, executive director of LadLake. “We hope to provide a safety net that would allow youth to experience those “bumps in the road” that we all did at that age. It is so important to have resources and services available until age 25 should they need to access them.”
“We have worked with youth in foster care and those aging out of the system for more than 20 years, so we understand the many challenges these youth face,” said Erdmann. “Our goal with Project Pinwheel is to keep the community and legislators plugged in to the needs of youth in foster care, in particular those who are aging out of the system.”
“Hopefully, as people become aware, they will want to become actively involved in the lives of these young people, to help them achieve success and become productive members of our community. Project Pinwheel provides an opportunity for everyone to get involved.”
To learn more about Project Pinwheel, or to obtain pinwheels and yard signs to help with the awareness campaign or volunteer at Lad Lake during the month of May visit www.projectpinwheel.org or call 414-332-2690.