Young adults aging out of foster care are less likely to graduate high school, attend college, or get a degree. California says that it costs society to turn these children out into the streets and according to the Annie E Casey Foundation, it is very much costing society money. Annie E Casey says that if aged out foster youth had the same outcomes as youth who didn’t age out, the US taxpayers would save $4.1 billion.
The outcomes for foster youth is not good and everyone realizes that. According to an article by KTLA, California officials have stated that “the average age of a juvenile human trafficking victim in California is between 12 and 14 years old, and 70 percent of victims come from the foster care system.” A deep desire for a family & distrust of authority can make youth particularly susceptible to being recruited by gangs for trafficking.
Here are a few quick stats from Finally Family Homes for California that came out today. Remember that these are real live human beings whose lives could turn out very differently if they are given the same opportunities and care that we all want our own children to have:
Nearly 60,000 California children are in foster care, with more than a third living in Los Angeles County.
Currently, over 16,000 youth are waiting to be adopted in California.
71,000 are waiting to be adopted nationally.
Every year about 4,000 youth age out of care in California. According to Walden Family Services, 65% leave foster care at age 18 with no place to call home.
In a representative sample of foster youth in California, over one-third of aged-out 19-year-olds experience homelessness, and over 40% couch-surf (Courtney et al., 2016).
About 1400 age out in Los Angeles and of those, at least 400 become instantly homeless upon aging out.
According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, about 36 percent of chronically homeless youth in LA County said they were involved in foster care at some point in their lives. (From 2016, the most recently gathered data that included foster care histories).
As far as human trafficking in California, the statistics vary based on what the raid & rescue organizations report. From what we’ve seen the number varies between 60-90% of those rescued come from the foster care system.
Finally Family Homes is in the Los Angeles area and has a plan to provide for their basic needs including housing and food, empower them to build an economic foundation for self-sufficiency, and create healthy relationships in a safe and caring community.
Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state. The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We cannot give legal advice, but we can try and direct you in the right direction with your case. Links to legal services are listed with their states. Please share and let’s grow our groups. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page.