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About the Filmmakers
About our Funders
Risa's Death
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About our Funders

The Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative is a national foundation whose mission is to help youth in foster care make successful transitions to adulthood. We bring together the people and resources needed to help youth make the connections they need to education, employment, health care, housing, and supportive personal and community relationships.

Launched in June 2001, the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative was formed by two of the leading foundations focused exclusively on child and youth well being: The Annie E. Casey Foundation and Casey Family Programs.

A Board of Trustees, which includes members representing both foundations, directs the Initiative's work. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, the Initiative is led by Gary Stangler, who was regarded as one of the country's most creative and effective administrators during his tenure as director of Missouri's Department of Social Services under Republican and Democratic governors from 1989 until 2000.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) has worked to build better futures for disadvantaged children and their families in the United States since 1948. The primary mission of the Foundation is to foster public policies, human service reforms, and community supports that more effectively meet the needs of today's vulnerable children and families.

Established by United Parcel Service founder Jim Casey, Casey Family Programs is a Seattle-based national operating foundation that has served children, youth, and families in the child welfare system since 1966. Its mission is to provide and improve -- and ultimately to prevent the need for -- foster care. Casey Family Programs provides direct services, and promotes advances in child-welfare practice and policy.

Casey Print Resources

  • Kids Count, special issue devoted to youth in transition, The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (Available at

  • Assessing the Effects of Foster Care: Early Results from the Casey National Alumni Study, 2004, Casey Family Programs. (Available at

  • Martha Shirk and Gary Stangler, On Their Own: What Happens to Kids When They Leave Foster Care (Westview Press, 2004) More information available at

    Casey Online Resources

  • -- Includes information on what you can do to help youth transitioning from care, as well as links to foster care and youth development organizations.

  • -- Casey Family Programs

  • -- The Annie E. Casey Foundation

  • -- Casey Family Services

  • David Griffin
    Risa Bejarano
    Daniella Anderson