Every year, 20,000 youth in foster care are left to care for themselves because they have aged-out and no longer qualify for placement with foster families.
Most 18-year-olds haven't developed strong-enough life skills to enable them to live on their own, and youth coming out of foster care are usually even less prepared for independent living.
More than one-third of these youth never finish high school, and many don't have jobs. Their rates of arrest, health problems, and welfare dependency are far higher than those of the population as a whole – as is their rate of homelessness.
The government offers little help to former foster care youth who have aged out of the system, so it's not that surprising that they often wind up on the streets or in jail. There are many fortunate ones, though, who find their way to Ninety Days of Love Crisis Center, LLC.
One-third or more of the age out youth who come to Ninety Days of Love are coming from the foster care system. Here, through our program, they can cross an important bridge to self-sufficiency and independence. They have the chance to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to transition from being a helpless youth to a successful adult.
But the problem is still much larger than we are.
The welfare of our youth, including the thousands who come out of foster care every year, is always present on the Ninety Days of Love advocacy agenda.
Through advocacy efforts, we're working to bring broader attention to faults within the foster care system – to help youth who are too old for the system yet still too young to take care of themselves – so they never land on the streets in the first place.