Aging Out of Foster Care: The Unmet Needs of Youth

In December 2007, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies issued Aging Out of the Foster Care System to Adulthood: Findings, Challenges, and Recommendations, a report on the unmet needs of youth aging out of foster care in America.

Key Findings

  • Based on a literature review, a telephone survey of social workers and a series of "listening sessions" with youth and other stakeholders in the foster care system, the report's key findings include:

    • Compared to other youth in the United States, youth who age out of foster care are less prepared to function independently.
    • Nearly half (47%) of surveyed social workers rated the resources in their foster system as fair or poor. Only 11 percent rated them as excellent.
    • Limited data is available about the outcomes of youth aging out of the foster care system.
    • Many youth in foster care feel they lack adult advocates to guide them through life.