Youth in foster care, especially those age 13 and older, face long odds. They are less likely to reach a permanent home and may languish in the foster care system for years before aging out without a permanent home, which happens to nearly 20,000 young people every year.
These youth are expected to make it on their own as independent adults, but often lack the support and resources to do so. Some leave foster care and become homeless on day one. Many never graduate from high school. Most are underemployed, and even later, at age 26, they earn less than half what their peers do, on average. While poor outcomes are more likely, they’re not inevitable.
The National CASA/GAL Association’s Fostering Futures initiative is poised to make a positive impact on older youth and improve these outcomes. High school graduation, living wage employment, a place to live, and a healthy, thriving adulthood are attainable for every youth aging out of foster care, and the support of a caring, consistent adult can make all the difference. Fostering Futures is strengthening CASA and GAL programs’ service to the older youth, expanding services to more youth preparing to age out of foster care, and ensuring that foster care alumni have the support they need to thrive as adults.
Every youth in foster care can achieve their potential and become a happy, successful adult. Jewelers for Children is helping to make this a reality through its support of Fostering Futures and the National CASA/GAL Association for Children.