Aging Foster Care
What is “Aging Out” of Foster Care?
In a recent interview with Jessica Butters, Child Placing Director at Providence Place, she gave some hard hitting statistics about what it means to age out of foster care.
Approximately 24,000 American teenagers in foster care turn 18 years old each year. At this age, they are expected to move out and start their lives on their own. Many still in high school, these teens find themselves in need of jobs, a place to live, and a means of transportation to survive. Providence Place makes the plight of “aging out” youth a priority and works to change how these young people are viewed and supported through their journey into adulthood after being in foster care. National studies have shown that within two to four years of leaving foster care at age 18:
- 40% were homeless
- 40% were receiving public assistance or were incarcerated
- 40% experienced drug or alcohol abuse
- 46% had not finished high school
- 51% were unemployed
- 84% became parents
These shocking numbers motivate Providence Place to not only help children get adopted by loving families, but also support the youth that age out of the foster care system to make sure they have successful transitions into the real world.
How Can You Help Teens Aging Out of Foster Care?
Without the love and support of a family to fall back on, many teens who age out of foster care find themselves struggling to succeed on their own. However, there are multiple ways you can help these young adults:
- Purchase graduation gifts and items to help set up their first homes
- Become a mentor
- Provide employment opportunities
- Donate vehicles
- Provide low-cost housing
- Donate to Providence Place to help us cover unexpected expenses