by Cassie Cunningham
Policy and Research Analyst
We know youth who age out of foster care face systemic barriers through no fault of their own. These barriers can prevent someone from being fully independent and successful in life. Just like all young adults, youth who age out of foster care need help for a support system as they transition to adulthood and full independence – that can’t simply happen overnight.
Knowing what we know from our work with The Possibilities Project and the research conducted by Child Trends, this spring we launched a Panel of Experts to help us identify policy recommendations to overcome these systemic barriers. By bringing together our experience, nationally recognized-research and the expertise of community stakeholders, we are confident we can make change to better support youth who age out of foster care.
Since launching in the spring, our Panel of Experts has been hard at working addressing systemic issues facing youth who have aged out of foster care. The committees are working on issues in housing, education, employment, finances, healthcare and permanent relationships and we are fortunate to have experts in all of those areas dedicated to improving the lives of these youth.
Thus far, the panel has worked in committees to identify systemic barriers facing youth that age out of foster care. A few examples include poor credit due to the misuse of their identity by third parties, lack of transportation, and the lack of familial support to help with things such as co-signing for loans. Now that the Panel has identified these barriers, the committees will begin to work on policy recommendations to eliminate or reduce these barriers.
These recommendations may be legislative, administrative or incorporate other community partners who can assist in eliminating these barriers. The Panel expects to release its policy recommendations in Spring 2019. Stay tuned for updates and more details on when to expect the release of these life-changing policy recommendations.