New Report Examines Experience of Young Adults Aging Out of Foster Care - Thursday, April 08, 2010
Aging out of foster care is the subject of the newly released Midwest Evaulation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth--one of most comprehensive studies of kids in the foster care system who are never adopted. The report is the product of Chapin Hall, a policy center at the University of Chicago. As National Public Radio reports, the study backs earlier findings that former foster youth who reach adulthood without a family to provide support for them have higher rates of incarceration, dropping out of high school, homelessness, unemployment, and unplanned pregnancies than their peers.
Because the study included a cohort from one state, Illinois, where youth are allowed to stay in the foster care system past the age of 18, some useful comparisons to states where foster care ends at 18 were possible. Study authors say, "The data suggest that extending foster care until age 21 may be associated with better outcomes."