Most teenaged girls look forward to their high school proms as early as freshman year. While a standard part of teen memories for most, proms can be a long shot for students in foster care who shuffle from home to home (and subsequently, school to school) often throughout high school.
Last weekend, teens in foster care in East Texas had an opportunity to enjoy a prom just for them. Hosted by Child Protective Services’ PAL Program (or, Preparation for Adult Living), more than 50 students attend the prom in Longview.
CPS staff reached out to the community to donate dresses and had more than enough on-hand for the girls to choose from. Each was excited to select (and keep) a dress that fit their personal style.
The PAL program was implemented in 1986 to ensure that older youth in substitute care are prepared for their inevitable departure from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services’ care and support. At any given time, there are about 3,500 youth 16 years of age and older in substitute care. PAL program staff strives to provide each of these youth with skills and resources they will need to be healthy, productive adults. PAL services include involvement in programs that teach youth job skills, housing and transportation management, money management, and personal and interpersonal skills.
If you’re interested in donating a prom dress (or other clothing articles) to youth in foster care, contact Carter’s Kids to schedule a pick-up time.