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Aging Out of Foster Care

Mothers Come in Different Forms

Mary Lee | Posted 05.06.2016 | Impact
Mary Lee

There are more than 400,000 foster children in state custody right now. Every year, more than 20,000 age out without being reunited with their biological family or finding a new one through adoption.

Know Someone Who Grew up in Foster Care? Three Things They Need From Us

Mary Lee | Posted 04.01.2017 | Impact
Mary Lee

As National Social Work Month winds down, I've been thinking about what older foster youth and those aging out of state care need from their social worker, counselor or other supportive people in their lives.

It's Just a Picture

Chris Chmielewski | Posted 03.25.2017 | Impact
Chris Chmielewski

The poster is simple; Superman on the left, Batman on the right, about to do battle. The title reads; "Orphan Fight." No big deal to you. Not that big of a deal to me either. But I run the nation's only monthly foster care magazine and let's just say folks are less than pleased with this particular meme.

Get Ready...Get Set...Four Things All Foster Youth Should Do Before They Turn 18

Mary Lee | Posted 02.03.2017 | Impact
Mary Lee

If you were a typical teenager, turning 18 meant finishing high school, proms, college trips. But for the more than 22,000 young people who turn 18 in foster care this year in the United States, approaching the age of official adulthood is a different matter.

A Bill of Rights for Foster Children

Kevin M. Ryan | Posted 12.01.2016 | Impact
Kevin M. Ryan

Languishing in government custody is a dead-end for kids, in large part because government can never love children the way healthy families do. If we neglect that most basic need, people to belong to, people to care about them, aren't we just neglecting them further?

Impeding LGBT Parents Does Not Help Children Who Need Families

Adam Pertman | Posted 11.05.2016 | Queer Voices
Adam Pertman

All a state is doing when it imposes restrictions is shrinking its pool of prospective parents and, as a result, decreasing the odds that children in its custody will ever live in permanent, loving and successful families.

Here's Why Thousands of Teens Are in Danger and Society Does Not Care

Dr. John DeGarmo | Posted 10.14.2016 | Impact
Dr. John DeGarmo

Perhaps the biggest impact you can make with those who have aged out of the system is to become an advocate of change. By contacting lawmakers, politicians, and publicity agents you can bring attention to the needs of these young adults.

Finding Normal: Harder for Foster Youth, But Worth the Struggle

Mary Lee | Posted 08.24.2016 | Impact
Mary Lee

Spending part of your childhood being raised by strangers will never be normal, but the foster care experience can be better. When reviewing laws and regulations, legislators, child welfare professionals and concerned citizens should ask a simple question: "Would I want this for my child?"

We Should Never Stop Striving to Improve the Odds for Young People Aging Out of Foster Care

Gary Stangler | Posted 07.09.2016 | Impact
Gary Stangler

It's a very real challenge: hundreds of thousands of young people in this country have aged out of foster at the very young age of 18 -- many without achieving permanent family connections.

Six Things You Should Know About Growing up in Foster Care

Mary Lee | Posted 06.17.2016 | Impact
Mary Lee

Foster kids are just kids -- like your kids. But they've experienced more difficult situations and hard times than most adults ever will. Some develop emotional and behavioral problems and challenging behaviors.

We Are Failing an Arena's Worth of Kids, EVERY year! {How to Make a Difference Beyond National Foster Care Month}

Madeleine Melcher | Posted 05.11.2016 | Impact
Madeleine Melcher

The time is now. Not before another 23,000 or more age out. Could you look at each of those faces and tell them they are not worth your time? Your voice? A family? Because they are -- it could just as easily be you or I or our best friend.

The Pathway to Recovery from Childhood Trauma

Bruce Lesley | Posted 01.14.2015 | Impact
Bruce Lesley

I am not my PTSD. I never was - and never will be - crazy. The trauma therapy, however hellish, is a pill I must swallow. Through it, I will heal. The darkness in my life will, someday soon, brighten, and I will excel when that time comes.

National Foster Care Awareness Month

Gary Stangler | Posted 07.23.2014 | Impact
Gary Stangler

Efforts like these are important because letting kids engage in typical childhood activities is more than just letting them be normal. It is also critical to their healthy development.

I Don't Care About Autism

Danielle Gletow | Posted 07.16.2014 | Impact
Danielle Gletow

Have I offended you yet? Have you already started crafting a nasty comment to post below?

Homelessness at the Holidays Hits Hard for Kids in Foster Care

Gary Stangler | Posted 02.20.2014 | Impact
Gary Stangler

Last month I recalled the story of Antwone Fisher, who was informed upon aging out of foster care at 18 years old that he was on his own. He was directed to a nearby homeless shelter, and left to figure out the rest himself. That continues to happen every day across the United States.

Antwone Fisher's Story Shows Why Young People in Foster Care Deserve a Better Path

Gary Stangler | Posted 01.23.2014 | Impact
Gary Stangler

Ten years ago, the movie Antwone Fisher opened in theaters across the country, revealing, for the first time to many, the challenges young adults in our foster care system face.

Aging Out of Foster Care: The Costs of Doing Nothing Affect Us All

Gary Stangler | Posted 09.27.2013 | Impact
Gary Stangler

As parents, we know that our role in our children's lives goes far beyond providing them with the basics of food, clothing, and shelter. We also nurt...

Learning the Value of Money, From Inside the Foster Care System

Gary Stangler | Posted 11.28.2012 | Impact
Gary Stangler

So much of what young people learn about managing money comes from watching family members, and these last several years have given young people many opportunities to learn the challenges of managing money effectively.

A Different 'Graduation': Helping Our Foster Youth Move Into Adulthood

Michael Piraino | Posted 09.01.2011 | Impact
Michael Piraino

Often referred to as "aging out," the harsh reality is that in many instances when foster youth turn 18, they are on their own.

Foster Care: An Uncertain Future For Half A Million Children

The Huffington Post | Gabrielle Canon | Posted 06.17.2011 | Impact

When Enrique Montiel was 9 years old, he and his four siblings were taken away from their parents, and placed into the foster care system. He remember...

Homeless for the Holidays

Michael Piraino | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Michael Piraino

For the 25,000 teenagers who age-out of foster care each year, the holiday season can pass without family get-togethers or celebration. But there is something each of us can do to help!

Life Begins at 18 . . . Or Ends

Kristina Brittenham | Posted 05.25.2011 | Los Angeles
Kristina Brittenham

If a foster youth turns 18 and hasn't been lucky enough to become part of a family, the obstacle course that is already her life gets ridiculous.

Imagine Spending Your First Night Homeless on Your 18th Birthday.

Mark Horvath | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Mark Horvath

I was crossing a street in Salt Lake City and saw Sergei. That day was Sergei's 18th birthday. That day was also his first night homeless.

'Family Unification Program' To Reunite 5,000 Children With Families Separated By Recession

Tonic | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact

Since the economic downturn in late 2008, the headlines about foreclosures and unemployment have become familiar and all too commonplace. What is less...

Jimmy Wayne Completes 1,700 Mile 'Meet Me Halfway' Charity Walk For Homeless Youth

Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact

In January, country music star Jimmy Wayne set off across the country on a 1,700 mile trek to raise awareness about the plight of youth who grow too o...