Foster care has been a frequent topic of discussion lately; there have been heart breaking-stories (like foster families helping ease anxiety of immigrant children placed in foster care while separated from parents), as well as heart-warming stories like the clothing store in Florida who has special shopping hours just for children in foster care. There are many reports available about the health of children while in foster care, but what happens to the teenager who “ages out” of the foster care system?
Teens who are in the foster care system face challenging social stressors after leaving foster care when they turn 18 years old. Every year 24,000 US foster adolescents age out of foster care. The period after leaving foster care can be a rough transition. These teens are at high risk of bouncing from one living situation to another, which is termed “housing instability.” It’s been estimated that more than 35% of them may experience homelessness after leaving foster care. Read more