ALERT! Survey Finds Young Adults Aging Out of Foster Care Impacted the Worst
New research from the Field Center For Policy, Practice and Research at the University of Pennsylvania finds young adults aging out of foster care impacted the worst during the pandemic. These findings come to no surprise to the Together We Rise team. Since March Together We Rise made a conscious pivot to help young adults aging out of foster care while in college.
How are Young Adults Aging Out of Foster Care Impacted
So many young adults aging out of foster care lack a familiar support system. Once they are on their own, they have the sole responsibility of figuring out how to function as an adult.
With only 50% of young adults who’ve spent time in foster care have a high school diploma, the lack of opportunities causes them to face large financial insecurities. For these youths there are issues with access to basic resources including food, work, housing, and emotional support.
The research published by Field Center For Policy, Practice and Research at the University of Pennsylvania finds this trend to be common among adults who’ve spent time in foster care. The UPenn paper suggests that the best solution for preventing harm towards this group is the extension of governmental support. Which is exactly what foster youth advocates nationwide have pushed for.
The UPenn paper quantifies the impact of the pandemic on foster youth.
- Nearly 50% of current or former foster youth ages 18-23 lost their jobs or had their hours reduced. Versus only 19% of all Americans reporting lost employment or cut hours.
- Over half of the foster youth surveyed reported they were food insecure. Which is significantly higher when compared to the 17% of the general population facing food insecurities.
- Since the start of the pandemic 25% of current and aged out foster youth surveyed have had to find new living arrangements.
- More than 50% surveyed screened positive for exhibiting symptoms of depression and/or anxiety.
These issues are constantly present within the foster youth population, unfortunately, the pandemic is just making them worse.
For those wanting to help this situation, please look into what your counties and states are working on. There are nonprofits and groups organizing to make changes and support young adults aging out of foster care. You can also donate to Together We Rise’s emergency COVID program HERE.
Thank you for caring about young adults aging out of foster care, they are struggling and need your help.