The odds are stacked again youth who age of out foster care. This means they are never adopted or have any kind of permanency.
The statistics are grime:
• Nearly 40% will experience at least one episode of homelessness or couch surfing.
• 1 in 5 will still be without a High School Diploma or GED in their mid-Twenties
• 71% of the girls will become pregnant before the age of 21
• 82% of males and 59% of females report having been arrested since aging out of foster care
• 74% of males and 43% of females report having been incarcerated
• Over half were unemployed at age 25, and most of them with jobs were not earning a living wage
So how can youth in foster care possibly go to college? Robert Whitlock shares his story with us. He put himself into foster care at the age of 16. He knew he wanted to go to college, but had no idea how to do it. With the help of mentors, he found out that he because he was in foster care could apply for state and federal grants to help cover expenses. Robert also works for Youth In Need as a Street Outreach Coordinator. After he graduates from Forest Park Community College, he plans on attending UMSL.
If you would like information about foster care and adoption, visit Foster-adopt.org or call the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition at 1-800-FOSTER3
Robert works with the national organization, Foster Club, to help youth people in foster care know their rights. www.fosterclub.org.
For more information about the Youth In Need in the Street Outreach Program: http://www.youthinneed.org/SERVICES/TeensandYoungAdults/StreetOutreachProgram.aspx