In the article Richards discusses and focuses children that age out of foster care are at a greater risk of being homeless. It also centered on the stories that were told by former foster care adolescences Emily and Michael acquired different situations. Michael did not actually age out of foster care therefore he was not able to reap benefits. Emily was able to utilize the benefits like the extended deadline of fosters care until she was 19 years old. She was able to obtain a scholarship and prosper in college.
“Merging educational and child welfare databases from a Midwestern state showed that only one in five of these youths demonstrated the skills necessary to pass the reading, math and science standardized tests” (Coleman, 2004). “Among youths who stayed in foster care until the age of emancipation (18 to 21 depending on the state), more than one-third earned neither a high school diploma nor a GED (Courtney & Dworsky, 2005). Foster care children
By providing a secure and stable home for teens , it teaches them responsibility and further equips them with stability in overall life decreasing homelessness rates. Extending foster care services supplies former foster children with stable homes if they are in need. According to Foster Focus Magazine, “65% of youth leaving foster care need immediate housing upon discharge”() Housing after foster care is an immediate issue that comes with aging out. Over 50% of desperate former foster youth are searching for a home to begin their life independently. Statistics show that, “many foster youth are placed in homes with complete strangers that sometimes are just as dysfunctional, if not more, than the homes they were removed from.”() Unfortunately there are children in foster care that often get bounced from home to home never really knowing when they are safely sheltered. Some children find it better to live on the menacing streets of state's, where they are homeless, than to be in a home
Each year, an estimated 20,000 young people "age out" of the U.S. foster care system. Many are only 18 years old and still need support and services (. Several studies show that without a lifelong connection to a caring adult, this older youth are often left vulnerable to a host of adverse situations. Compared to other youth in the United States, kids who age out of foster care are more likely to not have completed high school or received a GED, they often suffer from mental health problems, many are unemployed and live in poverty, and nearly 40% become homeless.
Benefits of the foster care system include: keeping children out of abusive homes; providing stability; and cultivating secure attachments. In general, proponents of the foster care system believe it plays an essential role in providing a safe and stable environment for maltreated, neglected, and abused children (Lockwood, Friedman, & Christian, 2015). In fact, “advocates suggest that family situations that necessitate the use of the foster care system are often very complex and therefore require patience and time. They emphasize that the temporary nature of foster care is the best solution while state agencies work to achieve family reunification or otherwise resolve the family crisis” (Geraldine & Wagner, para 4, 2015).
In the John Burton Policy Brief on AB 12 the realities of education for foster youth are highlighted, “The rate at which foster youth complete high school (50 percent) is significantly lower than the rate at which their peers complete high school (70 percent),” (2011, p. 2). This affects chances for higher education including college degrees. This has a significant impact on the community as “aged-out” youth without services have more chance of risk for: homelessness, poverty, unemployment, going to jail, prostitution, substance abuse, early parenthood and untreated health conditions. Samuels and Pryce state that foster care has not always been a positive, developmentally appropriate experience. Youth who are
Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 Before this bill was signed into law the Federal Government provided about $70 million per year to conduct programs for adolescents leaving foster care that are designed to help them establish independent living. Research and numerous reports from States conducting these programs indicate that adolescents leaving foster care do not fare well. As compared with other adolescents and young adults their age, they are more likely to quit school, to be unemployed, to be on welfare, to have mental health problems, to be parents outside marriage, to be arrested, to be homeless, and to be the victims of violence and other crimes (Cook, 1991). The need for special help for youths ages 18 to 21
For many teenagers, their 18th birthday is an exciting time in their lives. They are finally becoming a legal adult, and are free from the rules and restrictions created under their parents. But not all teens feel the same joy about this coming of age. For the hundreds of thousands of children living in foster care in the United States, this new found freedom brings anxiety and fear. Where will they live after turning 18? How will they get the medications they may need? How will they find a job with little to no experience? How will they put themselves through school? Aging out of foster care is a serious issue among America’s youth. Every year, 20,000 children will age out with nowhere to go, being expected to be able to survive on their
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, every year close to 25,000 youth age out of the foster care system and are faced with cold hard realities of adulthood. This does not include the youth who leave the system, which is estimated to be another 30,000. Most adolescents anticipate their eighteenth birthday, as it brings on a new found sense of independence and most importantly a time of celebration. However when foster children reach eighteen, they begin facing the challenges of transitioning to adulthood. These children disproportionately join the ranks of the homeless, incarcerated, and unemployed. These youth are unprepared for the independent life they are forced to take on. The average age that young adults who have never experienced foster care leave their family home for good is 24, and 40% return home again at least once afterwards (Margolin, 2008). With these facts being stated, we yet expect youth who has dealt with rejection after rejection to leave “home” of the state custody permanently and fin for themselves. These youth sometimes have fewer than $250 in cash, only one-third have drivers licenses, and fewer than one-quarter have the basic tools to set up a household, let alone the skills to know what to do with the tools (Krinsky, 2010). Youth exit care with no more than a garbage bag of their belongings, finding themselves alone at the age of eighteen, with little reason to celebrate what is supposed to be an exciting milestone
Nationwide, nearly 397,122 children live in foster care. In California, which has the largest foster care population than any other state, the number of foster youth has tripled in the last 20 years (Source: AFCARS Report 2013) due to certain circumstance such as; physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or caretaker inability. Welfare workers turn over at continuing high rates, and many are underpaid, poorly trained, overworked and demoralized. Foster Care system welfare lacks providing services to prepare older youths in foster care in independent living are lacking. Many youths that exited the system discuss their experience such as, being let down, lack of role models, poor training programs, and lack of basic living skills. Foster
Of these individuals who exited, 22, 392, or 9%, exited due to emancipation, more informally identified as “aging out” (AFCARS Report, 2015). In 2013, only 48.3% of individuals who were previously in foster care obtained employment in New York State when interviewed at age 26, while same-aged peers towered over employment statistics in comparison, with 79.9% being currently employed. The average annual earnings of the 48.3% were only $13,989, as compared to $32,312 of same-aged peers. Additionally, 45.1% reported being experiencing economic hardships, as compared to 18.4% of same-aged peers (Children’s Aid Society, 2013). According to Columbia Law School (2016), 800 individuals between ages 18 and 21 aged out of foster youth just miles away from half of our target population, Nassau County, Long Island in New York City. Of these 800 individuals, 231 individuals had to utilize homeless shelters for their basic needs of food and shelter. Additionally, nationwide one out of five individuals who aged out of foster care at age 18 became homeless (Jim Casey Youth,
In some states in the United States, youth age out of foster care at the age of 18, however in states such as Maryland and the District of Columbia youth age out of foster care at the age of 21. While extending foster care until the age of 21 was created to form positive outcomes for emancipated youth, studies have found that difficulty in their transition from foster care to adulthood still remains. As a result youth aging out of foster care are at a higher risk for homelessness during their transition to adulthood. It is estimated that “27% of the homeless population spent time in foster care (Media, 2015)”. For various reasons such as residential instability and economic problems among youth aging out of foster care, youth are contributing
for most of the child welfare system’s history, most states did little to prepare the children in their custody for life in the real world. The federal government offered no financial help to the states to assist emancipating youth until 1986, when for the first time, Congress passed a law authorizing limited “independent living” efforts. Over the next fifteen years, about two-thirds of older youth in foster care received some sort of assistance in building independent living skills, ranging from a thirty minute course on resume writing to an eight-week course in household management. The 1986 law was seriously flawed because it only paid for skill-building services to youth between the ages of sixteen and
Maximizing the accessibility of foster care sectors would allow for substantial attention to more foster care children, leading to better mental health in an average foster care child. Furthermore, local institutions could be allowed more flexibility in terms of federal funding usage, which could result in a more centralized focus on providing the best outcomes for children involved in foster care. Changes in current policies, such as the aforementioned ASFA, would additionally aid in lessening the unclarity in cases and allow for a greater focus on the well-being of children. Removing children from unfit environments must be done at a faster rate and within maximum reasoning. Children are the future, and we need to attempt to help the future be the best it can
Recently I read an article in the San Diego Union Tribune entitled "Setting Up Foster Kids for Success" by Assemblyman Brian Maienschein. The article focused on helping foster kids succeed. The article points to statistics that show around half of foster kids who stay in the system until they age out wind up in dire straights - homeless, in prison, or victimized in some way. Some even wind up dead.