Children playing on merry go round at the parkMay is National Foster Care Awareness Month, a time to recognize and support the thousands of children and youth in the foster care system across the United States.

 

Along with the national CASA organization, CASA MN would like to take this opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges faced by young people transitioning out of foster care and the critical need for support to enhance their outcomes.

Did You Know?

Shockingly, fewer than half of young adults aged 16-21, leave the foster care system with a permanent family, either adoptive or biological. The lack of support experienced by these young people leaves them especially vulnerable to unemployment, lack of stable housing, becoming parents, or incarceration.

As these youths approach age 18, the Guardians Ad Litem serving them continue to be a consistent and reliable resource advocating for valuable life skills training. While these efforts are appreciated, former foster youths feel the system needs to devote more time to instilling such skills.

 

Amnoni, whose story was featured in Child Welfare Information Gateway’s Reflections: Stories of Foster Care, stated “What would’ve been helpful is if transition planning happened earlier in life instead of cramming all the information into the 6 months before I aged out.”

 

Marianna, another young adult with experience in the foster care system, shared that, “Child welfare professionals can better prepare young people for independent living by focusing on comprehensive life-skills training. This could include financial literacy, job readiness programs, and mentorship opportunities.”

Research indicates that extended foster care participation improves educational attainment, employment rates, and housing stability for young people with foster care experience. As we work collectively to improve systems for children in and transitioning out of foster care, the support volunteer GALs provide young people transitioning to adulthood is vitally important.

 

Whether you are a volunteer, advocate, or community member, let us all take time this National Foster Care Awareness month to recommit ourselves to authentically engaging and supporting young people who are preparing to transition out of foster care.

In partnership,

 

CASA MN team

CASA Minnesota
PO BOX 454
Minneapolis, MN 55343

Send us an email

info@casamn.org

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Minnesota is a member of the National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association (National CASA). A grant from National CASA supports this website and our efforts to encourage communication, development, and effective advocacy for CASA volunteers and Guardians ad Litem statewide.

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