Supporting Older Youth in Foster Care



group of four older teens walkingNEW! Tuition Waivers for Youth in Foster Care—Click on the Higher Education tab for a 50-state chart.

NEW!  Bank Accounts and Financial Literacy—Click on the Normalcy tab for a 50-state chart.

NEW! 50-State Youth in Transition Data Profiles from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative.

Nearly a quarter of the approximately 442,995 children in foster care are age 14 or older and more than 17,000 young people age out of foster care at age 18 each year. The challenges facing older youth in foster are immense. 

Interest in research on brain science and how trauma and frequent placements in foster care may affect early and adolescent development has grown.

Supporting older youth involves many components, including the option to extend foster care or allow reentry into foster care, providing the most normal childhood experience possible through extracurricular activities, educational stability and opportunity, transitioning from foster care to independent living, and housing. When looking at these policy options, the ability to engage current and former foster youth is invaluable.

This toolkit provides an overview of the issues faced by older youth in foster care as well as policy options and checklists for legislators to consider.

New NCSL Resources: