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KidsPeace Raleigh Foster Care Office Teaches Teens about The Real World

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The Raleigh, NC, foster care office of KidsPeace was the proud host of the 2nd Real World Event on Thursday, December 3, 2009. After putting together four successful Independent Living Skills workshops, Jaime Mula (North Carolina State University Master’s of Social Work Intern) and Antonella Lazzaro (Meredith College Bachelor’s of Social Work Intern) were excited to host the Independent Living Skills Real World Event. Participants had the opportunity to apply the skills they had acquired and developed in the workshops in a nurturing, interactive simulation of the real world and receive feedback on how well they coped with unexpected events.   

At the Real World Event, teens were each given an occupation based on their interests and completed assessments. The occupation information provided a monthly and annual salary. Participants were challenged to use their salaries and develop budgets based on everyday needs such as food, insurance, utilities, transportation and rent. A “KidsPeace Real World Event” checkbook that included checks and a register was also provided. The teens each received a “Life Happens!” card with an emotional or accidental situation printed on it to make the event even more reflective of life in the real world. Individuals were encouraged to handle all purchases and costly situations within their salaries. Once participants finished “shopping,” they visited the Auditor’s booth. If they over spent or did not purchase a required amenity, they were sent back to the exhibit area to renegotiate their budgets.

To conclude the event, interns, participants and volunteers convened to reflect on the surprises and struggles that participants faced while budgeting their costs. Everyone shared whether or not they had been able to stay within their assigned budgets. All of the teens said they had fun and enjoyed taking on the task of staying within a budget. A special “Thank You” to Matt Leggett of CapTrust Financial for volunteering to play the role of Auditor during this event. The KidsPeace Raleigh foster care office looks forward to the next “Real World,” which will take place in Spring 2010.


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