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[Easter] Foster Care vs. Homelessness: What is the Difference?
April 17 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Dr. Leon Intrater, Ph.D., Psychologist, will speak on the topic, Foster Care vs. Homelessness: What is the Difference? Foster care is a situation in which for a period of time a person under the age of 21 years is cared for by and resides in the home of people who are not her/his biological and/or legally adopted parents. Frequently, youth are placed in foster care due to abuse and/or neglect in their living situations. Homeless children and youth are those who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence and include children and youth who are sharing the housing of others, living in motels, abandoned buildings and automobiles, residences of abusers and exploiters, public parks, bus or train stations and frequently survive through prostitution. Unfortunately, there is a significantly high rate of youth, homelessness, unemployment, mental illness, illiteracy, drug addiction, youth prostitution, suicide, incarceration, and other maladies among former foster youth ages 18 – 25 years of age. Dr. Intrater will talk about his work through the past three and a half decades to alleviate these problems.
Dr. Leon Intrater’s experience in working with youth homelessness and foster care began at least as far back as 1985 when, as part of his Ph.D. dissertation in psychology at the University of Illinois, he served as a crisis counselor in the ER on the overnight shift at Chicago’s Loreto Hospital on Chicago’s West Side. He worked with such crises as suicide attempts, psychotic episodes, domestic violence, rape victims, drug overdoses, grief and loss associated with gunshot wounds, domestic disputes, child abuse and neglect, anxiety and panic attacks, and other crises. Frequently he needed to help youth who were homeless, had run away, or had been “thrown away.” In 1985, Dr. Intrater founded Neon Street Center for Homeless, Runaway, and Throwaway Youth and the Life Hope Program for Young Homeless Mothers and their Children in Chicago. Since its inception, the Center has successfully served thousands of youth in crisis situations and helped the youth to become functioning young adults.