“We want to set them up for success,” Tomasi says. “We want to enhance their abilities.” Completion typically takes a few months, as youth participants are limited to no more than 10 driving hours per week.
As of early 2018, two students have earned their license, with two more very close, Tomasi says, noting the CCYP staff allows program participants to take the test wherever they want and whenever they feel ready.
Tomasi acknowledges the challenges of teaching people to drive, especially if the student is dealing with emotional issues not uncommon for those in foster care. In addition, for foster parents, putting foster children on their insurance can be very expensive, as companies don’t see them as the actual parent or guardian of the child.
“It became apparent that if we helped eliminate this barrier, or at least addressed this barrier, we could help in other aspects of their life also,” Tomasi says.