Time to End the Foster Care to Homelessness Pipeline
Solutions to Improve Outcomes
Children and youth enter foster care due to factors outside of their control, such as experiencing neglect, abuse, or the death, addiction or imprisonment of a parent. Nationally, over 20,000 youth “age out” of the foster care system each year. 50% will experience couch-surfing or housing insecurity within a few years of emancipating from care. One in five will become homeless at some point during their lifetime.
Stable housing is critical for foster youth to move forward and attain self-sufficiency in early adulthood. It is essential to connect young people between the ages of 18 and 26 with safe, stable and affordable housing in order for them to be able to achieve their employment and educational goals, while reducing negative outcomes, such as human trafficking.
It is time to move beyond demonstration projects and take national action to improve foster youth housing outcomes. Former foster youth shared first-hand experience about the importance of stable housing in their journey to achieve self-sufficiency. Ruth Ann White, author of the Family Unification Program, shared national research and evidence-based practice. Participants learned about cost-neutral, bipartisan solutions to move forward.