Monday, September 15, 2008

Survey of Youth in Foster Care

Washington State just published the results of a survey of youths in foster care in 2007. The youths in question were ages 15-18. There are some really interesting results in this survey. We'll examine a few in forthcoming posts.

Today, let's focus on what the youths thought about their preparedness for life after foster care. Typically at age 18 a youth "ages out" of the system and is on his or her own to find a place to live, find a job, find a way to continue his or her education.

In the survey (full text can be found here), 37% of the respondents participated in an Independent Living or a Transitional Living program. Of those who were facing aging out within 6 months of the survey, 26% felt very prepared to live on their own, 51%, somewhat prepared, and 23% not very or not at all prepared.

Through adoption, one creates the network which will assist a youth growing into adulthood. This network, family, is something we believe all children are entitled to. How prepared were you at 18 to handle all of life's responsibilities with little to no help or guidance?

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