Aging Out of the Foster Care System

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Aging Out of the Foster Care System

  1. 1. Life After Foster Care<br />Presented by Elsy Matias & Jen Janco<br />Composed by Michelle Lew<br />
  2. 2. What is being done to ensure the wellbeing of foster kids once they turn 18 years of age or become independent of the foster system?<br />
  3. 3. Background<br />As foster children prepare to leave care, they need support and services to help them begin the transition to adulthood, prepare for work and personal responsibilities. <br />Studies of youth who leave foster care without a safe, permanent family reveal consistently negative life outcomes. <br />The Fostering Connections Resource Center serves as a library of child welfare information and resources to help states and tribes in their efforts to implement the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. <br />
  4. 4. Current Situation<br />Currently, 463,000 children are in foster care<br />30,000 children “age out” of the foster care system each year <br />In 2008, 29,000 youth or ten percent of the children exiting the system were emancipated or “aged out” from foster care at the age of 18 or older without a safe, permanent home.<br />“Age Out” is the term used to refer to foster children who reach the age of 18 and are no longer wards of the state and/or no longer eligible for benefits under the foster care program.<br />
  5. 5. Current Situation<br />According to the Child Welfare League of America<br /><ul><li>25% become homeless
  6. 6. 56 % are unemployed
  7. 7. 27 % of male children end up in jail</li></li></ul><li>Current Situation<br />One study found that 25% of foster care alumni who “aged out” did not have a high school diploma or GED. <br />Another study found that less than 2% finished college compared with 23% of youth in the general population.<br />Over half of youth who “aged out” of foster care experienced one or more episodes of homelessness, and nearly 30% were incarcerated at some point—many times higher then the rate non-foster care recipients. <br />
  8. 8. Current Situation<br />Youth who “aged out” of foster care were less likely to be employed or to have health insurance than were their peers who had not been in foster care.<br />These negative experiences compromise these young adults’ abilities to lead independent, fulfilling and productive lives and create substantial costs for government.<br />
  9. 9. Assessment of Need<br />Obviously there is a problem and the only way to solve this problems is to get the government, community and foster kids together to plan a resolution. <br />How do we decide that there is a need to be met through community action? <br /><ul><li>The numbers are large enough to see that those who were in foster care are at an extreme disadvantage. These children who “age out” are also costing a lot of money because of the disadvantages and hardships they experience.</li></ul>Who makes the decision?<br /><ul><li>In this case it would be the government and private investors who may implement a better transitioning program.</li></li></ul><li>Assessment of Need<br />What info was gathered to demonstrate a need?<br /><ul><li>Current statistics about children who age out from governmental websites </li></ul>How does the evaluator and planners work together?<br /><ul><li>The evaluator determines what the main issues are for children who are aging out of foster care. Planners then implement goals in order to better serve those children. Evaluators will eventually go back and see how the new program is working</li></ul>The evaluator should be part of the planning process to be sure that the planners are helping achieve and maintain goals.<br />
  10. 10. Assessment of Need<br />Actual state of those who age out of foster care: <br />extremely disadvantaged<br />Ideal: those who are in foster care already suffer because they don’t have families or the same opportunities as those who are not in foster care<br />Norm: the norm is that families bring up there children, help them transition, etc. <br />In 2010 the average age of people in the U.S. to move out of there parents house was between 22-25<br />
  11. 11. Assessment of Need<br />Desired: Children who are in foster care have the same opportunity as those who aren’t, a smoother transition into society upon adulthood and the age of “aging out is increased.”<br />Expected state: When foster children are better transitioned into society there will be more opportunity for them, less chance of homelessness, incarceration, etc. and less cost to the government<br />Once this need was fulfilled it would place a lot more children in a satisfactory state upon reaching adulthood.<br />
  12. 12. Assessment of Need<br />Long term need and potential need.<br />Long-term because it should be available for a long period of time.<br />Potential in order to avoid, postpone and relieve current problems<br />Formative evaluation (plan to improve outcomes)<br />Summative evaluation (used to decide if a program should be started)<br />Improvement focus model will be used: <br />Baseline and intervention model <br />
  13. 13. Economic Evaluation<br />Pros:<br />If a program was implemented that increased foster care ages to twenty-one this would help foster kids access more resources, be more prepared, etc. In effect, there would be less need for public aid and dependency. There would also be less negative effects as far as: kids not finishing high school, being homeless, getting incarcerated, etc.<br />Cons: <br />While there would be less money spent on foster children who “age out” in a public sense, the new program would have to be considered. It is estimated to cost around $20,000 per child/per year who stayed in foster care until they were 21. <br />Go to video<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzG-dqxIPVM<br />
  14. 14. Economic Evaluation – Types of Costs<br />Variable vs. Fixed Costs<br />Variable Costs are those that depend on program activity. For example, some may enter the program, but drop out of the foster care system for a variety of reasons. This would effect the variable cost. <br />Fixed cost are those costs that the government would be paying foster parents to keep these children. This number would vary depending on how many children are in the program at any given time.<br />
  15. 15. Economic Evaluation – Types of Costs<br />Incremental vs. Sunk Costs<br />Incremental costs are day to day expenses such as services (i.e. counseling, workforce development, etc.) that may be covered by the government. <br />Sunk costs are considered the costs associated with individuals who utilized some of the benefits but either did not complete the program or took advantage of the system.<br />
  16. 16. Economic Evaluation – Types of Costs<br />Recurring vs Non-Recurring Costs<br />Recurring costs would be programs like the YMCA whereas non-recurring cost may be a one time stint in a hospital or rehab center. <br />Hidden Vs. Obvious Costs<br />There are going to be obvious costs. For example: how much a foster parent is paid, how much it costs for different types of programs. However, since this program is the first of its kind there may be hidden costs like employing additional staff.<br />
  17. 17. Economic Evaluation – Types of Costs<br />Opportunity Costs<br />There would have to be one main vision agreed upon in order to implement this program. However, there may be multiple options/choices. <br />For example: one solution may be to better prepare 18 year olds to transition out of foster care. <br />Another solution may be to expand the age of foster care to 21. <br />If one option is chosen over another for whatever reason, this is considered opportunity cost.<br />
  18. 18. Economic Evaluation – Types of Costs<br />It is extremely difficult to convert service benefits to dollars. In order to know a true dollar amount there would have to be extensive research. <br />Of course there would have to be an approach to being cost-effective. The best approach would be to set an annual amount of money aside to alleviate the need. There could be an estimate made, set this money aside, evaluate how funding was used/worked over a year and then make changes if necessary. <br />If after a year the program is not working, a new program could be implemented, the existing program could be built upon, or there could be another year of researching the program/cost.<br />
  19. 19. Focus of Evaluation<br />We have identified that there is a flaw in the current foster care process. <br />Often, children who are in foster care do not get the help they need. They are at a disadvantage financially, emotionally and do not receive the same educational opportunities as non-foster children do. <br />Although these are important issues, we are concerned with the process for the foster children who reach the age of 18 and are required to be an adult with no support, experience or guidance.<br />
  20. 20. Focus of Evaluation<br />This evaluation is needed because statistics prove that those who “age out” of the foster care system are at an extreme disadvantage and that something must be done in order to help foster children transition into society <br />
  21. 21. Improvement-Focused Model<br />The expected outcomes for children in foster care are <br />A) that the child is cared for <br />B) the child has someone he/she can talk to <br />C) make sure they have needs met and are given a fair chance at life<br />The problem is that the outcomes projected are not being achieved. <br />
  22. 22. Analysis<br />The reason for this analysis is to implement a program that would match the needs of the people served. <br />This would be not only the federal government, but also the foster children who “age out” of the system every year and have no plan, except survival.<br />After reviewing the programs criteria it is easy to understand the intent of the program. <br />Both short term and long term effects have been examined of the foster care system and the aging out process. <br />
  23. 23. Goals<br />As far as goals are concerned there would be intermediate, outcome, and implementation goals. <br />Intermediate goals would be getting a new program running, with stated goals and necessary resources and staffing. <br />The overall outcome goal would be to help foster children be more prepared, if not as prepared as children who were never in the foster care system. <br />The outcome would help foster children to become productive adults and be a huge benefit to society. <br />
  24. 24. Identifying the Program:<br />The Government performance and results act of 1993 was designed to make the government more accountable and results oriented<br />After a certain time frame, the new program would be compared with the old one to measure outcomes.<br />One would measure outcomes by looking at the statistics for at risk youth who “age out” of foster care with no new policy or program to those who have went through the new program or experienced the new policy. <br />This will provide a comparison group which can provide strong significant results. These results will show if the program is a success or failure.<br />
  25. 25. Identifying the Program:<br />In addition to looking at the statistics and following subjects over a period of time written surveys are also an option. For example, how did they feel before/after the program in terms of preparedness of being on their own. <br />Another option would be to compare how prepared a person felt who went through the program to one who did not in terms of preparedness<br />
  26. 26. Identifying the Stakeholder:<br />The government: <br />House of representatives controls human resources, education, workforce, youth and families. <br />The senate controls finances, nutrition and general legislation. <br />The executive branch has power over HHS, treasury, food, nutrition, health care financial and consumer services. <br />
  27. 27. Would this Program Suit Stakeholder’s Needs:<br />Children who “age out” of the foster care system are actually costing the U.S. a lot of money. <br />Many end up homeless, more likely to commit crimes, end up in jail, and dependent on public aid<br />The program does match the values of the stakeholders, being the federal government.<br />As a whole politicians and the federal system want to decrease crime decrease, as well as the use of public aid. All of which can be summed up to a decrease in public spending.<br />Citizens in the foster care community could be, as a whole, more productive in society which would ultimately be a benefit to society.<br />
  28. 28. Identifying the Program: Ethical Issues<br />Foster children would be educated about the new program. <br />What is trying to be changed, what is being looked at, etc. <br />They then, would be able to give informed consent ((hopefully)). Their information would be kept confidential by not releasing names or personal information unless absolutely necessary and with expressed consent.<br />
  29. 29. Existing Resources/Services Available<br />There are a few states that have extended foster care until the age of twenty-one. <br />However, there is a limit for home many foster children are chosen. <br />For example: Washington state allows 50 children per year to stay in foster care until age twenty-one. <br />There are also plenty other rules and regulations foster children must follow when trying to get into this program. Once in the program 25% dropout. <br />
  30. 30. Existing Resources/Services Available<br />There are a few privately funded programs for foster children who age out and even fewer state programs. <br />There are quite a few scholarships for foster care children, but given that only 75% get a GED and 2% go to college, how much benefit from these resources?<br />
  31. 31. Conclusion:<br />In conclusion, the foster system is full of problems, but a lot of kids while in the foster system have a home, access to healthcare, etc. <br /> However, upon the age of 18, foster children age out and many are left to fend for themselves, become homeless or turn to a life of crime. <br />This is the error with the aging out process. <br />A new program would be extremely beneficial to these children and there are a variety of ways a policy or procedure could be improved.<br />
  32. 32. Resources<br />http://www.iel.org/pubs/fosterpolicy.pdf<br />carehttp://www.jimcaseyyouth.org/<br />http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/npr/library/misc/s20.html.<br />www.fosteringconnections.org<br />familyhttp://www.fosteringconnections.org/tools/assets/files/Connections_Agingout.pdf<br />http://www.abanet.org/youthatrisk/extending_foster_care.pdf<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzG-dqxIPVM<br />

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