Nearly 25,000 teens leave the foster care system nationwide
each year and struggle to stay employed and safely housed according to
National Housing Institute
Based on the data provided from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, in some areas of the country, as
many as 60 percent of homeless people have a foster care history. Many never complete high school and go on
welfare. About one-quarter of the men end up incarcerated and young women find themselves experiencing early
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
found that only one in six of the teens they tracked who had recently left foster care were completely
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, in 2004, annual taxpayer costs associated with children born to teen mothers included: $33 million for
public health care (Medicaid and SCHIP); $45 million for child welfare; $30 million for incarceration; and $64 million
in lost tax revenue, due to decreased earnings and spending. Nationally teen childbearing costs taxpayers at least
$9.1 billion a year. ASCC’s independent basic living skill programs are designed to educate these young adults
through the provision of such services to drastically reduce these statistics.
Child Welfare League of America
is a powerful coalition of hundreds of
private and public agencies serving vulnerable children and families since 1920. Their expertise, leadership
and innovation on policies, programs, and practices help improve the lives of millions of children in all 50
states. CWLA suggests that youth leaving the foster care system are significantly affected by the instability
that accompanies them throughout their “out-of-home placement” lifecycle (a period during childhood and adolescence).
According to the 2000 Census, nearly 4 million people between the ages of 25-34 live with their parents due to
economic stress, job loss and lack of jobs, housing and food expense and other needs such has utilities.
Unfortunately, foster youth do not always have the option of turning to their families for support. In most cases
facing this reality alone, these young people are confronted with the harsh reality of the gap that exists between
wages earned and the true cost of living. As a result, youth that are “aging-out” of the foster care system become
vulnerable to homelessness, depression, and suicide. It's critical that young people are served by programs that
will eliminate these hardships.
According to the
Tennessee Department of Children Services,
the annual report shows that as of June 2007, over 8,000 children are in State’s custody; more than 50% are over the
age of 13. The average child “ages-out” of State care at the age of 18, left with little or no independent living
skills to survive or be successful in society. An estimated five hundred (500) young adults leave foster care at age 18 or 19 each year
in Tennessee without formal connection to family. These youth are typically in need of services and support to assist
with their education, physical health, mental health, employment, housing and personal support needs.