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NOAS was founded 42 years ago to find forever families for youth in the Mahoning Valley child welfare system. With the reality that thousands of teens leave the system without ever experiencing the stability of a family, our purpose and programs have evolved to meet that need. We exist to inspire, develop, and nurture enduring support and connections for current and former foster youth and those at risk of coming into care and envision the day when every child and young adult who has been in the child welfare system has a safe and supportive family network.

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Giving Week Progress:


  Programs Supported by Your Donations  

Giving Week donations will support our IGNITE Foster Youth Mentoring Program which matches current foster care youth ages 12-17 and former foster youth aged 18-21 with a nurturing adult connection trained to support their special needs for a period of one year. Our pilot program launched in late 2019 and was adjusted to a virtual format during covid, at a time when foster youth needed connection more than ever. The program’s success, regardless of the format, verified how important one adult connection makes to a teen or young adult without a support network. A mentor was the person a 19-year-old mentee called when struggling with suicidal thoughts. After consultation with the Ignite Coach, the
mentor drove the young adult to the hospital to get the help she needed. Another mentee became homeless after leaving the hospital following suicidal ideations. Her mentor transported her to a hotel and regularly sent food until housing could be arranged.

Foster care is one of the most tragic events a child can experience with mentoring capable of being the difference for older teens and young adults without a family to call their own or a support network.

  Needs that Cannot beMet without Your Help  

NOAS’ was impacted by losing nearly $100K in funding and regular foundation grant cycles halted to accommodate community need. Operations shifted in an attempt to make up that loss through virtual events and although successful on some level, they couldn’t replace funds raised from historical events. Perhaps most important is the impact of the pandemic on those we serve.

Our caseload is over capacity for young adults scheduled to age out of the system that was temporarily halted by Covid with urgency for all programming given the isolation and uncertainty foster care youth have experienced over the past year.

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