Teens and Aging Out
Posted by provplace on February 11th, 2014
Becoming an adult is supposed to be a momentous occasion, one met with excitement and new opportunities. For the teenagers that age out of the foster care system, this is generally not the case. In the past ten years, roughly 200,000 teenagers have aged out of the foster care system and entered the adult world.
Aging out is the term used in America to define any foster child that turns eighteen and is required to leave the foster system. Once they are eighteen, they are legally adults and thus must be on their own. Despite the spikes in adoption from events such as National Adoption Month, many are still not adopted and left without loving homes and families.
These teenagers do not have the same support most of us have been given at their age. The majority of us had at least one parent or provider that helped ease the transition into adulthood. When we made the transition from high school to college or work, many of us had our parents or guardians to help us get on our feet. Aging out of the foster system puts the teenagers into a world for which they are not ready – they have little to no money of their own, no real guidance, and no support.
Teenagers that age out are more likely to run into problems than their counterparts, according to studies. Roughly half drop out of high school, almost 20% struggle with homelessness, and 20 to 30% end up incarcerated – unfortunate and troubling statistics. Many also deal with health care issues and unemployment. These bright and young minds are immediately presented with hardships that affect the rest of their lives, all because of a lack of proper support.
The two main ways to prevent these issues are adoption and support. Adopting a child or a teenager gives them a consistent and stable home, as well as the help necessary to succeed in the world as an adult. Support is the other way. By getting to know the teenagers and lending aid, adults can help put them on the right track to get a job or go to school, giving them the chance to have a healthy and stable life. With support, they can avoid the problems and perils of the world. The right guidance can make all the difference.
Providence Place of San Antonio, Texas is a nonprofit organization offering domestic, international, older child and embryo adoption services, vocational training for adults with disabilities and working with other nonprofit organizations in the San Antonio area. To learn more about the work they do or to schedule a tour of their 25-acre campus, visit their website ProvPlace.org or contact them today.