Thursday, September 15, 2011

Aging out of NY foster care system into homelessness

Many Foster Children End Up Homeless: Report
Flanagan, Jenna. WNCY, September 8, 2011.

New York is not doing a good job preparing its foster children for the workforce, charges a new report.

The report from the Center for an Urban Future found that one in 10 youths in New York City who left foster care in the mid-2000s entered a homeless shelter within a year. Within three years, that number doubled to one in five.

"These young people go from being official wards of the state as part of the foster care system to adult wards of the state," said Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the center.

The report showed that as many as half of the roughly 1,000 young people who aged out of the city’s foster care system failed to obtain and hold onto jobs.

Bowles said many foster care agencies are failing foster kids due to their scant connections with employers.

"We're at a time now when skills and higher education are becoming more important than ever and so many of these young people are being further and further behind," Bowles said.

Bowles has called on incoming commissioner Ronald Richter to focus on strengthening workforce readiness for young adults leaving foster care in the city.

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