Fighting for Our Youth’s Future
This study analyzes the issues surrounding the aging out of young adults in the foster care system in the United States and England. Comparative data was collected and analyzed from three diverse locations: the Child Welfare System in England, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Within and between these three systems, the analysis narrows to compare the skills needed by foster youth to achieve self-sufficiency: social support, financial support, healthcare, mental health resources, housing resources, substance abuse treatment, educational resources, legal assistance, employment stability, and assistance with childcare. The widely accepted youth Self-Sufficiency Matrix is used to measure the transitional resources being provided to foster youth. This comparative study seeks to describe the different types of transitional resources provided to youth transitioning out of the foster care system in Idaho, Texas and the England. Four themes emerge from the analysis: the need for better communication, gradual transition, the development of long lasting relationships in the foster care system and outside of the foster care system and collaboration with transitioning foster youth.