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‘Age Out’ Woes: Advocates, Attorneys Fear Florida Foster Children Face Hard Times as Adults in Tough Economy

September 15th, 2011   No Comments   Aging Out, Education Issues

In Fort Lauderdale, Broward County and across Florida, foster kids who leave the system – or ‘age out’ of foster care – at 18 find themselves struggling in a tough job market. Child care advocates, legal needs attorneys, and others say internships yield work experience – but in temporary jobs. Many former foster kids also lack personal and financial “management” skills needed to be self-sufficient, independent and to thrive in the workplace.

Statewide, data shows that some 47 percent of teens in foster care graduate with a high school diploma. Across the U.S., unemployment among “aged out” foster kids hovers around 56 percent, according to an article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Moreover, about 15 percent become homeless for one or more months within 12 months of leaving foster care, the paper reported.

“Between 2010 and 2011, about 100 teens in Broward and 80 in Palm Beach County aged out,” the paper reported. If they stay enrolled in school or meet other requirements, they may receive some $1,200 monthly from the state until they hit 23. Education, job training, finding mentors and learning life skills are key to thriving independently.

Read the entire story on aged out foster kids in the tough economy here.

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