PA's Black Youth More Likely to Be in, Stay in Foster Care: Report

Ryanne Persinger, The Philadelphia Tribune •

The 2018 report “Fostering Youth Transitions Using Data to Drive Policy and Practice Decisions” collected data from all 50 states in 2016 — the most recent data available — in order to assess the transition of youth from foster care to adulthood.

“The disparate grows the deeper you go into the system,” said Jennifer Pokempner, child welfare policy director of the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia. “You are seeing in the data that when they get into the system and if they are youth of color, things like moving (around in different foster homes) and aging out of the system without finding permanency happen more frequently.”

Pokempner said she hopes the community takes note regarding the number of older youth who are aging out of the system or are not being reunited with their families, particularly among African Americans. People tend to think of foster care children as babies or young children, she said, emphasizing that all children no matter the age are important.

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