THE FAILURE OF
The Failure Of
The Foster Care System
A child enters the foster care system ever
2 minutes in the United States.
Many foster youth, when aging out, are given 30 minutes
and a trash bag to pack their belongings and leave.
40% of those children will end up homeless.
For many youth, instability in their homes is a leading cause of them ending up on the streets before they are adults. Child abuse and/or neglect, parental drug use, domestic violence or conflict make it so that home is no longer safe for them. For some of these youth one of the answers is the child welfare system. The Foster Care System as it is popularly known, is supposed to be a promise of a more stable family life, a safe place if you will. And for some youth the foster care is a God send. It ends up being a safe environment for them to grow, prosper, and transition into healthy adults. But unfortunately for many this just isn't the truth. There is a disproportionate percentage of foster youth who make up the homeless youth population in America. Approximately 12 to 36 percent of youth ages 18 to 21 who age out of the foster care system become homeless. Many foster youth end up homeless because they haven't acquired the skills or ability to earn the income they need to live on their own. For others, there just aren't enough programs to help them transition from the foster care system in their own places and help them learn to be on their own. Unfortunately there isn't adequate support to help these youth transition successfully from the Foster Care System to being independent adults. And this is where the failure exists. When we take these youth from their home we in essence become their family, we take on the responsibility of these youth. Unfortunately, so often when they reach the age to age out we give them a trash bag and tell them to pack and leave. That isn't what a parent would do. But that is what our government does.