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Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal

Authors

May Shin

Abstract

This note examines the struggles of youths who must leave state foster care systems (called "aging out" of foster care) upon turning eighteen years old. Thousands of young people age out of foster care systems each year. Foster care systems have traditionally abandoned children upon their eighteenth birthday, without providing aged-out youth real assistance in obtaining employment, health services, or basic shelter. Most commonly, these young adults do not have sufficient resources or support to allow them to transition into safe and stable lives. The majority of these older youths either get incarcerated, become homeless, or are forced to depend on state welfare. A federal law, the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, was enacted in 2008 to let states adopt legislation providing assistance to youths in foster care until the age of twenty-one. This note compares these new state laws, to determine which legislation makes the greatest impact on this population.

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