AOI National Awards for Foster Parents & Foster Care Organizations

Orlando, Florida, United States
Wed, Aug 29 - Sat, Sep 01 2018

Sponsorship Pitch

Orlando, Florida, United States Orlando, Florida, United States
#Charity & Causes  #Other  #Dinner or Gala

About our event

The Aging Out Institute National Awards Program is the first national awards program to specifically recognize professionals who help youth age out of foster care successfully. In addition, we will be the first to capture award winning strategies and share them with foster care professionals throughout the country. As a sponsor, you will get your products and/or services in front of thousands of child welfare professionals, organizations, government agencies, and universities throughout the country.

The awards ceremony will be held at the 31st National Independent Living Conference in Orlando, FL being held at the end of August in 2018 (the exact date has not yet been determined). This is the longest running conference for youth services and independent living professionals in the U.S.A.

There will be awards for foster parents and organizations that use successful strategies to prepare youth to age out of foster care. There will also be awards for organizations that use successful strategies to support youth after they have aged out.

The 12 winners will be selected from applications submitted by foster parents and organizations that can demonstrate that their strategies are effective in helping youth transition to adulthood. Applications can be downloaded and submitted January 1st through February 28th in 2018.

We have 8 judges who are all experienced researchers or practitioners in the field of foster care who have volunteered to select the winners. They are:

  • Tina Raheem, Director of Scholarships and Grants at Foster Care to Success
  • Steve Walsh, Director of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at California State University, Bakersfield
  • Chris Chmielewski, Former foster youth and the Owner/Editor/Creator of Foster Focus Magazine
  • Dr. Judy Havlicek, Associate Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign
  • Dr. John DeGarmo, Foster parent and leading international expert in foster care
  • Dr. Amy Dworsky, Research Fellow at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
  • Dr. Johanna Greeson, Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice
  • Susan Punnett, Executive Director of Family & Youth Initiative

The basic 2018 award program timeframe and process is outlined below:

  • January-February:  Award applications and instructions will be posted on the website. Applicants will go to the AOI website to download the application(s).
  • March-June: A panel of judges will review the applications and select the winners.
  • July: Awards will be ordered and press releases will be written.
  • August:  Winners will be announced and celebrated at the award ceremony in Orlando, FL.
  • September-December: Winning strategies will be written up as white papers.
  • December: Winning strategy white papers will be shared with the foster care community.

Please note that the details of the award ceremony have not yet been worked out with the conference organizers. As mentioned above, the exact date still needs to be determined. In addition, the number of participants will depend on the room we are able to arrange for the ceremony. Please know that we will be making a concerted effort to find a very large room that will fit more than the number of attendees estimated in this pitch, but we're starting out on the conservative end of the scale.

The video below is a 24-minute interview with Dr. John DeGarmo, an internationally recognized expert on foster care. During this interview, Dr. DeGarmo explains what aging out is, the challenges the youth who age out of care face, and what people can do to help.


Attendees Demographics

Gender Distribution


Expected Audience


Sponsorship Opportunities

If you sponsor the Aging Out Institute Awards, your company will be recognized as a socially responsible organization that cares about foster youth who are aging out of the system, which is an issue that is gaining awareness across the country. In addition, your marketing benefits will last well beyond a once-and-done event.

The Award Ceremony
Yes, you will get your company's name in front of dozens (if not hundreds) of foster care professionals (e.g., foster parents, social workers, staff at organizations that serve foster youth, counselors, foster youth, etc.) during the award ceremony through exposure to your logo, marketing material, and a live presentation. In addition, you can also mingle and network with the attendees of the 31st Annual Independent Living Conference throughout the entire day the award ceremony takes place. (See https://www.danielkids.org/page.aspx?pid=430 for more information about this long-running conference.)

Throughout 2018
Your logo will be listed as an AOI Awards Program sponsor on the AOI website throughout 2018. We have hundreds of organizations watching our website and following the development of the awards program via monthly email updates. We'll also add your logo to these email updates.

In Perpetuity
You will also get your company's logo on all of the award winner "strategy papers" and webinar recordings, which will be accessed by AOI members for years to come. So, as you can see...your company's logo will continue to be seen for as long as people in the foster care community are interested in the best practice strategies being used to help youth transition to adulthood successfully.

As a thank you for your support, you and up to 9 other individuals in your company will be given lifetime membership with Aging Out Institute, with access to all the award winner strategy papers and webinars as they are added year after year. (AOI's membership model will begin in 2019.)

The Ideal Sponsors
We are an equal opportunity event and welcome companies from all business sectors as sponsors! That said, there are some that may be particularly well suited for this event - companies that sell products or services that would help a young person start life on his or her own, such as:

Companies that manufacture/sell household good (furniture, kitchen supplies, bedding, etc.)
Companies that manufacture/sell cars, motorcycles, scooters, or bikes
Companies that manufacture/sell laptops or cell phones
Companies that help people find employment
Universities or trade schools
Consulting, legal, or tax services that cater to nonprofits
Technology companies that provide tools and/or services to nonprofits



Presenter Package

This package enables you to receive 2 full-day registrations for the day of the award ceremony during the Daniel Kid Independent Living Conference at the end of August in 2018. Two representatives from your organization can attend the sessions and mingle with conference attendees all day on the day of the award ceremony. You can provide marketing materials to all ceremony attendees, as well as give a 5 minute presentation during the award ceremony. You may also have a full-page ad in the award ceremony program. Your logo, a description of your products/services, and a link to your website will be posted on the AOI website. Your logo will be shared through the AOI social media network (Facebook and Twitter). Your logo will be be put on the 12 award winner "strategy papers" and webinar recordings, which will be available to AOI members in perpetuity. Your company will receive one corporate level lifetime membership to Aging Out Institute once the membership model is instituted in 2019. This will allow 10 people from your organization access to AOI as members.

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I’ve always been an optimist – a silver lining, light at the end of the tunnel, glass is half full kind of person. Even when I was a teenager and was placed in the North Carolina foster care system with my younger sister (I was in 10th grade and she was in 9th), I was able to tap into my optimism and remain hopeful for the future. We moved to a group home in another town for a few months, leaving the school where we had attended for seven years and saying goodbye to all our childhood friends. Then we were moved to an emergency shelter where two year-long beds had opened up, and we stayed there for several more months.

In the middle of my junior year, our uncle was able to make arrangements for us to move from North Carolina to Maryland where we lived a short time with our grandmother, changing schools yet again. She felt she was too old to take care of two teenage girls, and in the summer before my senior year, my uncle again stepped in and made arrangements for us to move in with his in-laws (my aunt’s brother and sister-in-law) who happened to be foster parents in the Pennsylvania system at the time. We didn’t know them, but they took us in and we have been part of their family ever since.

We were among the fortunate ones. Too many youth in foster care do not have the support that we had and they struggle tremendously with the transition to adulthood, and that is why I started Aging Out Institute (AOI) in 2010. I wanted to give back, and I decided to do so by tapping into my computer, training, and project management skills and creating a way to connect foster youth across the country with resources that can help them prepare for aging out and that will support them after they age out. In addition, with five years of experience running a global awards program that recognized successful training organizations from large companies such as Microsoft, Mars, Inc., and MillerCoors, I knew I could apply those skills to my passion and run a national awards program dedicated to recognizing foster parents and organizations that are doing great things to help youth age out of foster care, and capturing their strategies so others can benefit from them.

As you can see above, I remain an optimist and I have big plans for AOI.  I look forward to continuing this work over the years by building out AOI’s capacity to serve foster youth and the dedicated professionals who work with them. I thank you for considering sponsorship of the new AOI Awards Program, and I hope I can speak with you about it soon.

Lynn Tonini, M.Ed., CPLP

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