Under the current system, foster care children "age out" of at 18, even if they're still in school. The state (Florida) provides money for former foster children taking classes — $1,256 a month until they're 23 — but children lose a lifeline to a family.
Studies estimate that 20% of youth who arrive at shelters came directly from foster care, and more than 25% had been in foster care in the previous year. These youth age out of the foster care system and are discharged with no housing or income support, primarily because they are not enrolled in school. For youth who are released from juvenile corrections facilities, many become homeless because they lack support systems and opportunities for work and housing. Other factors, such as, physical abuse,sexual abuse and substance abuse can cause youth to run away from home.HOW CAN I HELP?
reference: Fostering ReslienceVOLUNTEER OR MENTOR!
You're ready to embark on the very important work of designing and planning the who, what, when, where and how of your mentoring program. By taking time to carefully think through all aspects of your program, you will ensure that you're able to effectively serve young people and sustain your efforts over the long term.
The program design and planning stage enables you to create a roadmap of how you will manage, operate and evaluate your mentoring program. Keep in mind that you can modify your plan as you go, when circumstances and experiences dictate. However, advance planning of how the program will be managed will assist you in adhering to the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™—the mentoring sector's evidence-based standards for program quality. For more detailed information, sample resources and tools, access Mentoring.orgVOLUNTEER OR MENTOR!
Substance abuse is a factor in at least three quarters of all foster care placements, and recent studies indicate high rates of lifetime substance use and substance use disorders for youths in the foster care system.
Source: (US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health for the State of Missouri) The transition from late adolescence to adulthood is characterized by multiple role transitions as youth leave high school, seek employment, and change living situations. Substance use in the general population increases throughout this period until it peaks in young adulthood (Brown et al., 2008; Maggs & Schulenberg, 2004/2005; Schulenberg et al., 2005). Youth who are transitioning out of the foster care system may be particularly vulnerable to substance use problems during this period. These youth possess unique risk factors such as histories of maltreatment and placement changes that have been associated with increased risk for substance abuse (Aarons et al., 2008). In addition, these youth face unique transitions as they leave the foster care system, often moving to independent living situations without the support of a family system to provide a safety net (McCoy, McMillen, & Spitznagel, 2008).HOW CAN I HELP?
There is a grave misconception in this country that human trafficking is a trend relegated to foreign soil. But the painful truth is that human trafficking – one of the world's fastest-growing criminal industries – is a monstrous issue in this country. In fact, 85% of confirmed sex trafficking victims are U.S. citizens, mostly runaway children.
Often disconnected from family and friends, homeless kids are particularly susceptible to traffickers who will lure them with the promise of food, warmth, and even false love. Once snatched from the streets without anyone noticing, they are sold for the highest price, their dignity and sense of self destroyed.
Every year, federal and state governments pour millions of dollars into combatting sex trafficking through local and federal law enforcement agencies. But the emerging link between the child welfare system and child sex trafficking in the United States underscores the need for a new tactic, one that addresses the social origins of child sex trafficking.HOW CAN I HELP?