High Percentage of Homeless Population Has Been in Foster Care

May is National Foster Care Month, an initiative that seeks to increase national awareness of foster care issues.
High Percentage of Homeless Population Has Been in Foster Care

The transition to adulthood is a time of great potential for young people, but we should not forget what it often means for children who are in foster care. That’s according to the Children’s Bureau, an office of the Administration for Children and Families. May is National Foster Care Month, an initiative that seeks to increase national awareness of foster care issues.

The Bureau notes that a high percentage of young people experiencing homelessness have been in foster care. Foster youth who transition out of care without strong connections are more likely to become homeless, be diagnosed with mental health disorders, suffer from substance abuse, and become involved in the juvenile justice system. 

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 20,000 youth age out of the foster care system each year without a permanent family.

Other statistics being highlighted during National Foster Care Month include: 

  • Data shows extended foster care is associated with improved access to services and positive outcomes for older youth ages 18 to 21. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of youth in extended foster care, through their 19th birthday, received more services, than older youth not in extended foster care.

  • Among youth who have exited foster care, Black youth are nearly five times more likely than White youth to be incarcerated, while Latinx youth are twice as likely and American Indian youth are three times as likely. Additionally, youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning are more likely to be arrested and make up 13 percent of those who are detained.

Smart Justice is a magazine, podcast, and continuing news coverage from the nonprofit Restore Hope and covers the pursuit of better outcomes on justice system-related issues, such as child welfare, incarceration, and juvenile justice. Our coverage is solutions-oriented, focusing on the innovative ways in which communities are solving issues and the lessons that have been learned as a result of successes and challenges. 

The podcast is available on all major podcasting platforms.

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