From the Chronicle of Social Change — California foster youth who remain in extended foster care after they turn 18 have more savings and are more educated than their peers who exit foster care at 18, according to a report released late last year by the University of Chicago-based research group Chapin Hall.
In 2012, Assembly Bill 12 extended foster care from age 18 to age 21 for eligible California foster youth. University of Chicago professor Mark Courtney and his team found that each additional year that a foster youth was in extended foster care added $404 in savings, and increased their likelihood of enrolling in college by about 10 percent.
Amy Lemley, executive director of John Burton Advocates for Youth, said that she was “delighted by the outcomes,” including the decreased likelihood of pregnancy among females.
“When we have the nation’s top researcher using the most rigorous methods showing that unintended pregnancies decline by 19 percent per year, it’s important,” Lemley said. “When you look at that in terms of the long-term odds of being impoverished — if all we do is delay pregnancies until age 21 — we’d be making a lifetime difference for these young people.”
In addition to the findings on college enrollment and savings, researchers found that each additional year a youth spent in extended foster care was related to the following benefits:
See the rest of the report here.
Note: Foster youth who are under the care of General Authority agencies and service reasons and who are ages 18-21 may apply for Agreements with Young Adults (AYAs). Agreements with Young Adults are requests by young adults for support beyond the age of majority to realize goals as part of a successful transition to adulthood. For more on AYAs, visit this page.