Youth in foster care, like all young people, need care and support from adults after their eighteenth birthday. Few eighteen-year-olds have the maturity, financial capacity, or life skills to fully take care of themselves. Foster youth deserve the help of supportive adults to prepare for a successful transition to adulthood.
Unfortunately, too many youth remain in foster care, never returning to their families, and few find themselves in safe, loving and permanent homes. They move from foster home to group home and back repeatedly, rarely living in any place long enough to develop supportive networks or make lasting connections with peers or adults. When they age out of the foster care system, they often lack the skills or supports they need to make it on their own.
The consequences of the system's failure to provide proper support and care for youth in foster care can be devastating. Many young adults exiting foster care face substantial difficulty accessing health care, education, housing, and employment.
When the state takes over caring for children, it has a special obligation to ensure that youth in its care have the same opportunity to lead successful, independent lives as all children. Juvenile Law Center works to ensure that the state meets this obligation.