Foster youth who are aging out of the foster care system have higher rates of being undereducated, underemployed and becoming homeless. It is startling that 65% of former foster youth end up homeless and that less than 6% attend college. These teenagers often find themselves instantly on their own with no housing or support from family or community. Without mentoring and motivation, most former foster youth find themselves homeless, pregnant, on drugs, or in jail.
These are the sad statistics, but we must remember that every person is important and while Inspire cannot help everyone we can help create dramatic life changes upon the ones we do serve.
What is happening with Aged-out Foster Youth today?
- On any given day more than 500,000 youth are in some form of foster care across the United States.
- 100,000 foster youth live in California
- Nationally, each year an estimated 20,000 of these youth emancipate or “age out” of the foster care system, and are discharged into the world, whether or not they are prepared to transition to adulthood.
- 65% of them do so without a place to live and many don’t have the skills necessary to live on their own.
- Youth in foster care are 44% less likely to graduate from high school and after emancipation, 40 – 50 percent never complete high school.
- Girls in foster care are 6 times more likely to give birth before the age of 21 than the general population.
- Over 40% of foster youth are moved 3 or more times and 11% are moved 5 times or more. It takes approximately 4-6 months for a child to recover academically after changing schools.
- Twenty seven percent (27%) of the homeless population spent time in foster care.
- Over 70% of all state penitentiary inmates have spent time in the foster care system.
- Parents with a history of foster care are almost twice as likely as parents with no such history to see their own children placed in foster care or become homeless.
- Without housing, youth are less likely to complete their education, find employment, and gain access to health care, all of which jeopardize their ability to make a successful transition to adulthood.