Richard Buery on the Huffington Post: The High Costs of Aging Out

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For many young people, the transition from teen to independent adult is a gradual process that extends into their mid- to late 20s, with financial and emotional support from family. Most youth make it, but a significant number don’t—and so they become disconnected.

Youth who age out of foster care have the hardest time getting on their feet, and without family to rely on, the odds of success are against them.  But investments in the futures of these young people can result in significant benefits to them and to society.

On December 1, 2011, the Community Service Society of New York and The Children’s Aid Society convened over 200 local and national experts, policymakers, service providers and advocates to discuss the issues faced by older youth in foster care and strategies to prevent and address their disconnection from anchor social institutions like school, work and family.

I discuss what’s at stake for these young people in my latest essay on the Huffington Post.

You can also download the full report, called “Foster Care and Disconnected Youth: A Way Forward for New York,” that emerged from our forum. It highlights and further develops the issues the forum raised, recommends policy directions and discusses successful program models that address the many challenges facing aging-out youth who become disconnected.