the passing of the Foster Youth Independence Act of 2015 to help aged-out foster youth
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Our hope, along with your help, is to urge the House of Representative and Senate to consider passing this beneficial piece of legislation. If the Foster Youth Independence Act of 2015 is passed by the government states that raise the age of foster care to 21 will receive funding from title IV of the Social Security Act (Grassley, C., 2015; Bass, K., 2015) to:
- provided funding services and assistance through the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program to aging out foster youth up until the age of 23(Grassley, C., 2015; Bass, K., 2015).
- Services and assistance will be created to aid in education, housing, employment and support.These services will help them to effectively transition into independent living and provide them with the necessary support to thrive (Grassley, C., 2015; Bass, K., 2015).
Every year there are thousands of youths that are emancipated from the Foster Care system, in 2016 AFCARS reported a total of 20,532 adolescents aged out (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2016) . When a child ages out of the system it means they are no longer wards of the state and are expected to go on and live independently. They are no longer provided with resources and are left up to their own devices to figure out how to navigate through the challenges of surviving in this adult world. Research shows that this population of children are unprepared both mentally and emotionally to properly integrate into adulthood and experience many negative outcomes. The average age for a child to be emancipated from the system is eighteen years old because legally they are considered to be an adult but states have begun to raise the age to 21.The challenges faced by these youth fall under a variety of domains such as “education, employment, community engagement, relational well-being, and psychological health.” It is unrealistic to expect foster youth to thrive in living independently when other youth their age need to rely heavily on their parents for survival. The Foster Youth Independence Act of 2015 will help to address and overcome the many negative outcomes that effects this vulnerable population of youth.
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