Transition Age Youth Fact Sheet

How Policymakers Can Ensure Foster Youth Successfully Transition to Adulthood

This is the third fact sheet from Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children and Juvenile Law Center in a series focusing on Transition Age Youth. With the first two showcasing that the Commonwealth is well-positioned to strengthen policy and practice in the child welfare system for older youth, now is the time to act and ensure we are fostering successful youth transitions into permanency and adulthood.

Background: When people think about foster care, they often think of infants and young children. However, almost one-third of the foster care population are Transition Age Youth – or what is typically defined as age 14 to 21 – who are placed in out- of-home care through the child welfare system. Youth who are either currently in or are transitioning out of the foster care system experience poorer outcomes compared to their peers in the general population, such as increased rates of homelessness, unemployment, and low educational attainment. Youth of color experience higher rates of placement change and are less likely to achieve permanency. As policymakers and advocates we can reverse data trends by providing these youth with a network of supportive connections to gain the skills necessary to help them thrive into adulthood.

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