Wednesday, May 06, 2009

May: National Foster Care Month

May is National Foster Care Month. Here is some information and facts about foster care and the kids "in the system"

Foster Care Highlight

Washington, D.C. -- Today there are nearly 500,000 children and youth in America's foster care system. As the economy has worsened, reports of abuse and neglect have increased in some areas of the country and are expected to rise. Of the 26,000 young people who age out of foster care each year, many end up facing life's challenges alone without the support and education they need to compete in the workplace. In this economy, they are more likely than ever to endure homelessness, poverty, compromised health, unemployment, incarceration and other adversities.

Quick Facts

Youth Aging Out of Foster Care:

More than 25,000 foster youth age out of state care or run away every year, leaving them without ongoing connection to family members or caring adults.

Barriers to Higher Education:

Foster care youth are less likely to enroll in college preparatory courses (15 percent v. 32 percent) even when they have test scores and grades similar to those of non-foster care youth.

In addition, they are more likely to drop out of high school (37 percent v. 16 percent). These youth are less likely to access higher education as young adults.

A strong majority – 70 percent – of teens in the foster care system have a desire to attend college.

Research has shown that education is a leading indicator of successful youth development and adult self-sufficiency.

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