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Housing Access for Youth Aging out of the Foster System

In today’s society, there are a lot of children that live in foster care. Children are placed into foster care due to many factors. These include parents being deceased, parents aren’t able to take care of them the way they are supposed to and some being abused. Some children either go home to their families while others are adopted. Children are able to stay in the system up until the age of 18. This means that once they become of age, they have to leave the system.  So what happens once they turn 18 and have to leave the system?

The youth in foster care face many challenges and hardships as they move into adulthood. Roughly 20,000 youth in a given year age out of foster care and are on their own. They often have limited family ties or access to resources. They face hardships that include little to no education, no jobs, housing, mental stability.These hardships can have a major impact on the youth once they leave the system. Some may have learning disabilities, limited life skills, and health, emotional, and behavioral problems that can exacerbate an already challenging transition.  Approximately 375,000 youth face adult challenges without a familiar support system.

What we don’t know is what happens to these children after they age out of the foster care system? What services and programs are provided for those who have aged out? As a team, we decided to study youth that have aged out and how this causes various hardships they may endure upon leaving the system.  The main purpose of our research is discussing the youth in the foster care who age out of the system and what happens to them as they transition out.  What we will be focusing on in this research is how the lack of housing affects those who have left the system. Where would these youth go once they leave the system? Therefore we decided that our research question will be: HOW DOES AGING OUT OF THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM AFFECT YOUTH IN HOUSING?

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