The Foster Care system in the United States is fractured due to a general lack of resources. Children deal with a host of tribulations and often experience more when they age out of the system. At 18, they are required to leave foster homes and find a way to make it on their own. Unfortunately, many young adults don’t have the resources to succeed.
The Covenant House reports that they are more likely to be susceptible to homelessness, human trafficking, and other problems. Without the support of family or other loved ones navigating daily life is a struggle.
According to the U.S. Administration for Children and Families (ACF), by age 21, at least 26% of young people who aged out of foster care in the United States experienced a period or more of homelessness; a third lacked a high school diploma; and 25% had no health insurance. A quarter of these youth already had fathered or given birth to a child.
Organizations like Covenant House and Kaplan House are picking up where traditional fostering stops. Transitional housing is very important for young adults trying to find their footing and are available across the country. Many of these organizations help them get an education, jobs, and resources to prepare for the world on their own.
Homelessness among previous foster children should be a focal point in the debate on reproductive rights and the rights of children. Initiatives should be taken to help those who exist in the foster system to ensure better experiences and preparedness as well as those who are presumably lost after exiting.