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September 2023Vol. 24, No. 7Report Provides Data on Older Youth in Foster Care

Older youth and young adults in foster care have unique needs and require specialized services. A recent resource from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Fostering Youth Transitions 2023: State and National Data to Drive Foster Care Advocacy, examines the experiences of teens and young adults in foster care using the most recent data available from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

The resource includes an overview brief, state profiles, data tables, and source notes. It is an expansion of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s first Fostering Youth Transitions brief, which was published in 2018. Unlike the 2018 brief, this new iteration provides state data profiles that trace the experiences of young people ages 14 to 21 who were in foster care between 2006 and 2021, including how they were faring before and after they left foster care. The brief also includes information about the following topics:

  • The challenges that young people face while in and exiting care
  • How youth in foster care are faring in each state as they transition to adulthood
  • Ways systemic shortcomings lead to young people not having access to resources and opportunities
  • How gaps in service delivery have a negative effect on youth in transition
  • How the state profiles can be used to make improvements

The resource was designed to help advocates, policymakers, and practitioners raise national awareness of the unmet needs of older youth who experience foster care. Its main takeaway is that systems are not connecting young people to the resources and connections necessary to successfully navigate adulthood. Advocates and policymakers can use the brief and state data to assess their state's performance against national trends and build strategies to help young people lead healthy, happy lives after foster care, regardless of their background and experience.

Visit the Annie E. Casey website for more information.