Maryland unveils new ‘mylife’ website designed to support youth and alumni of foster homes
BALTIMORE, MD– To continue to prepare young people in foster care for the future and to facilitate a successful transition to adulthood, the Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) today launchedmy life, an interactive website providing foster children and alumni with the resources and information they need to lead the lives they choose.
The ability for young people in host families to leave their own indelible mark on the website was an essential part of the architecture. From content, design, color palettes, functionality and mobile responsiveness, the youth in foster care sat at the head of the table, providing their feedback and recommendations to a number of focus groups in person and virtual organized throughout the various stages of the Web. design.
“my lifeembodies two pillars of our mission: assistance combined with paving the way to self-reliance, âsaid DHS Secretary Lourdes R. Padilla. “The Involvement and Valuable Contributions of Maryland Adopted Youth to Craftsmy lifemeans that they have given a head start to their peers who are sailing the same terrain. I am proud of their collective maturity and wisdom, and I hope they share this pride, so justly deserved.
New website incorporates strengths-based plans to prepare youth ages 13-21 for adulthood, such as the Ready by 21 programs and the Maryland Youth Transition Plan, as well as aftercare services and resources COVID-19 relief packages, all designed to help ensure self-reliance. -sufficiency. Everything from applying for financial aid to job training, credit reports, health care and housing,my lifeprovides all the information young people in care need.
âOur vision ofmy lifewas to create a safe space for young people in care in Maryland to seek advice, learn, and provide feedback on decisions and actions that directly affect their quality of life – such as school, employment, care. health, relationships, and more, âsaid Michelle L Farr, executive director of social services administration at DHS.
Themy lifethe website design organizes the resources for youth in foster care into seven categories: social awareness and personal care, housing and homelessness services, helpful tips and support services, credit and money management, education and employment, important life documents and resources for elders, all provided nationally, nationally and regionally. A calendar of events, a contact list, and information about the State Youth Advisory Council complement the information provided on the Important To Foster Youth In Maryland website.
âAdolescents represent the cutting edge of technology and connectivity, often signaling future changes in adult populations,â said Katherine Morris, director of communications at DHS. âWith this in mind, we designed themy lifewebsite as a mobile responsive first, because we know that phones are the main method of accessing the Internet for young people. All of the work has been done in-house, and the website’s ease of mobility – from customization features to user-friendly navigation – can be attributed to our team and their willingness to translate conceptual ideas into fully functional applications.
my lifeis just one way DHS is continually looking for ways to benefit young people in care and provide them with opportunities to support them throughout their journey. More information onmy lifecan be found at https://mylife.maryland.gov.
The Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) is the state’s primary social service provider, reaching over one million people annually. Through its 24 local social service departments, the agency looks for opportunities to help those in economic need, provide preventative services, and protect vulnerable children and adults in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and the city of Baltimore. . Additional information can be found at dhs.maryland.gov.