About 23,439 youth age out of foster care and 1 in 5 will become homeless after the age of 18, only ½ will be employed by the age of 24, less than 3% will earn a college degree, 71% of young women will become pregnant by 21 and 1 in 4 will experience PTSD. (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System,2014). Youth aging out of foster care are usually not given the opportunity to transition gradually into adulthood, they do not have the opportunity to use the safety net of the family if they find themselves unable to cope with the many challenges of adulthood. Penalties of this “instant adulthood” include illegal drug use, low income, homelessness, criminal court system involvement, and general inability to self-support (Geenen & Powers, 2007, p. 1086). Many youths in foster care do not get the help they need to complete high school, planning their future which includes employment, continuing education, housing/transitional living arrangements or accessing health care.
The population target would include adolescents that are in the states care that is in foster care aging from 16-21 years old. Demographically anyone will be able to be a part of the program and attend classes but must have their own transportation if they are outside a certain mileage and radius of the center.
For many youth aging out of foster care, the lack of social supports makes the transition to adulthood even more difficult. Coping skills and self-competence can help better some of the disadvantages of aging out of care. Yet, foster youth with histories of placement instability may be less likely to have developed these necessary skills due to the disruption of social systems and connec...
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...nsequently denying them gratification in personal relationships, and looking for the help they may need, especially during the transition. Some young people were even able to establish and maintain good relationships with a member of their birth family from whom they could get support or a constant relationship with their foster family.
Understanding these behavior theories could provide professionals and policymakers with a better understanding of why some foster care alumni do not succeed and why they feel like the system is not set up for them. It could also hopefully create policy-oriented theoretical frameworks to guide planning of interventions. If theoretical frameworks that focus on larger systems become a part of our thinking about young people’s transition from state care it could ultimately help those young adults succeed and have a productive adulthood.
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