The National Foster Care & Adoption Directory (formerly the National Adoption Directory) offers adoption and foster care resources by State.
These resources provide current State and national data on the number of children in the child welfare system, trends in foster care caseloads, and well-being outcomes.
In 2012 in the United States, 23,439 children in foster care turned 18 and were “emanicpated” or aged out”. In simple terms, most of them were put out into the world on their own without housing, financial assistance or emotional support.
Youth have trouble adjusting to independence after spending so much time in a rigid, structured system. It is estimated that between 18-26 percent of New York City foster youth become homeless.
As young people in foster care approach legal adulthood, they face tremendous obstacles, including the unrealistic expectation that they will be able to succeed on their own when they turn 18.
They haven’t been prepared for the aging out process and suddenly that security blanket is gone. What do they do? This lack of emotional connection—the sense of being cared about—may be one of the hardest aspects to handle for foster youths who are aging out of the system.