Four Missouri Department of Social Services workers have won a state government challenge for pitching a plan to help more foster children aging out of the system. Rene’ Brinkman, Shasta Miller, Bobbie Thomas and Nicole Robinson lead a unit in southeast Missouri helping older youth prepare to become independent adults. Miller says since launching the Southeast Royals Unit six months ago, more foster kids are getting a driver’s permit or license, bank account, and a job.


407 Missouri youth have aged out of foster care since October of 2019. Their pitch would add five more units around the state and use existing staff and resources.