Older Youth and Launching to Adulthood

Finding Permanency for Older Youth

The number of youth who age out of foster care has risen steadily over the past decade, even in the wake of increased efforts to achieve permanence for all children in foster care. For far too many youth, aging out of care results in homelessness, work instability, and a lack of stable, loving relationships with adults.

Aging Out of Foster Care

Essentially, “aging out” is the process that occurs when youth must leave the foster care system because they were never adopted and are too old to stay in care.  In New York, youth can sign themselves “out” of foster care at age 18, however, they can choose to reenter the system again until they are 21. At age 21, all New York State youth in foster care, do “age out” of the system.    

Support for Adult Adoptee and Former Foster Youth

Whether advocating for original birth certificate access, American citizenship for intercountry adopted persons or just having a safe place to express ones emotions, adoptees and former foster youth deserve support thought out their lives.

Family Recruitment and Retention

Recruiting enough foster and adoptive families to care for children, and supporting resource families so that they don’t leave, is crucial to meeting children’s needs for safety, permanency and well-being. You will discover in many of the resources listed below that effective recruitment and retention practice and policy is often not about spending money –  but about treating the families respectfully, involving them in decision-making regarding children in their care, responding promptly to caretaker questions, and training agency staff in good customer service.

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