Essay on Aging Out of Foster Care

Essay on Aging Out of Foster Care

Length: 1267 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

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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 own (Reilly 728). Young adults face various obstacles upon aging out of foster care, such as multiple health problems/issues, homelessness, and finding/maintaining a job.
One challenge young adult’s face after aging out of foster care is being provided the health care that they need. According to Paula K Jaudes and the American Academy of Pediatrics, children in foster care suffer from various health issues such as “developmental delays, mental retardation, emotional adjustment problems, chronic medical problems, birth defects, substance abuse, and pregnancy” (1170). It is unknown why children in care are at a higher risk for these problems, but numerous medical professionals believe it is caused by the circumstances that led them being put into foster care, and the experiences they had while in care (Jaudes 1170). Despite being inclined to face more medical problems than teenagers who grew up in nuclear families, there is a lack of support to help take care of these teens. One study conducted by...


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...mic Search Premier. Web. 4 Jan. 2014.
Reilly, Thom. "Transition From Care: Status And Outcomes Of Youth Who Age Out Of Foster Care." Child Welfare 82.6 (2003): 727-746. MEDLINE. Web. 4 Jan. 2014.
Scannapieco, Maria, Kelli Connell-Carrick, and Kirstin Painter. "In Their Own Words: Challenges Facing Youth Aging Out Of Foster Care." Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal 24.5 (2007): 423-435. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Jan. 2014.
Stott, Tonia. "Placement Instability And Risky Behaviors Of Youth Aging Out Of Foster Care." Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal 29.1 (2012): 61-83. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Jan. 2014.
Zlotnick, Cheryl, Tammy W. Tarn, and Laurie A. Soman. "Life Course Outcomes On Mental And Physical Health: The Impact Of Foster Care On Adulthood." American Journal Of Public Health 102.3 (2012): 534-540. Business Source Premier. Web. 13 Dec. 2013.

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