Monday, October 25, 2010

Young Adults Are the New Face of Homelessness

Quotes from article referenced below:

  • "Young adults are the new face of homelessness."
  • "It's a group driven by two large converging forces: an economy that has been especially brutal on young people, and the large numbers currently exiting foster care."
  • "The largest driver of the young adult homeless population is the foster-care system."

Source: Generation Homeless: The New Faces of an Old Problem by InvestigateWest, a nonprofit investigative journalism center based in Seattle.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Challenges faced by LGBTQ youth in foster care

The Family Acceptance Project, a comprehensive study of LGBT youth and their families discovered that nearly half of the foster care youth in their study had been removed from their homes, run away or were thrown out of their homes because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

A 2001 study by the Urban Justice Center found that:
  • Once placed in a foster care setting, 78 percent of LGBTQ foster youth were forced to leave their foster placements due to anti-LGBT violence and harassment.
  • Fifty-six percent of LGBTQ youth interviewed in the study had spent time living on the streets because they felt safer there than they did living in their group or foster homes.
Feinstein, R., Greenblatt, A., Hass, L., Kohn, S., Rana, J. (2001). Justice for all? A report on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth in the New York juvenile justice system. New York: Lesbian and Gay Project of the Urban Justice Center. Ryan, C., Diaz, C. (2005). Family responses as a source of risk and resiliency for LGBT youth. Paper presented at the Preconference Institute on LGBTQ Youth, Child Welfare League of America 2005 National Conference, Washington, DC.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

No Extended Health Coverage Until Age 26 for Former Foster Youth until 2014

Have you ever wondered 
how emancipated foster care youth cope 
when their wisdom teeth come in 
and they have NO medical insurance?

Health Care Reform for Emancipated Foster Youth

Section 2004 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which expands Medicaid coverage to former foster children up to age 26.  However, this provision will not be implemented until January 2014.

After January 1, 2014, all states will be required to extend Medicaid coverage to youth who have "aged out" of foster care. To qualify, individuals must have been enrolled in Medicaid while in foster care.

Health Legislation Related to the Fostering Connections Act

The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act previously gave states the option to expand coverage to youth who have aged out of the foster care system up to age 21.

In response, some states have introduced healthcare legislation related to the Fostering Connections act:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's Not Too Late to Apply for HUD's Family Unification Program

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has given public housing authorities nationwide until December 1, 2010 to apply for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers through the Family Unification Program (FUP).

  • FUP vouchers can be used to help foster youth with their housing needs in transitioning from foster care to adulthood.
  • For FUP vouchers to be successful, and for youth to actually receive this assistance, child welfare organizations must build a strong partnership with their local housing authorities.
Learn more at the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare.

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Finishing the First Lap: The Cost of College Dropouts

    Finishing the First Lap: The Cost of First-Year Student Attrition in America’s Four-Year Colleges and Universities revealed that, over the past five years:

    • States appropriated almost $6.2 billion to colleges and universities to help pay for the education of students who did not return to school for a second year.
    • States gave over $1.4 billion to support students who did not return to their college or university for a second year.
    • The Federal government provided over $1.5 billion in grants to support students who did not return for a second year.
    • In Ohio, the cost for college freshmen who dropped out after their first year in college was $300 million.

    Chancellor Eric Fingerhut, of the Ohio Board of Regents, views this issue as top priority:

    “The goal is not to enroll people. The goal is to graduate them. Freshman to sophomore retention is key to the graduation rate. We are totally committed to it.”

    Friday, October 01, 2010

    Sexual Abuse in Foster Care

    Have you ever wondered about the rate of sexual abuse experienced by foster care survivors?
    • As many as 75 percent of all children in foster care, upon leaving the system, will have experienced sexual abuse. 
    • One study by Johns Hopkins University found that the rate of sexual abuse within the foster-care system is more than four times as high as in the general population
    • In group homes, the rate of sexual abuse is more than 28 times that of the general population.
    • Foster children who suffer sexual abuse tend to be those who live with those caregivers who have the least verbal contact with child-welfare workers. 

    Benedict, M., Zuravin, S., Brandt, D. and Abbey, H. (1994). Types and frequency of child maltreatment by family foster care providers in an urban population. Child Abuse & Neglect,18 (7): 577-585.
    Child Welfare League of America. (2003). Child maltreatment in foster care: CWLA best practice guidelines. CWLA, Inc.: Washington, D.C.
    Poertner, J., Bussey, M., & Fluke, J. (1999). How safe are out-of-home placements? Children and Youth Services Review, 21(7): 549-563.
    Rosenthal, J., Motz J., Edmondson, D., and Groze, V. (1991). A descriptive study of abuse and neglect in out-of-home placement. Child Abuse and Neglect 15(1): 47-49.
    Tittle, G., Poertner, J., Garnier, P. Child maltreatment in out-of-home care: What do we know now? Accessed online at:
    Zuravin, S., Benedict, M., and Somerfield, M. (1993). Child maltreatment in family foster care. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 63(4): 589-596.