Community Focus: Aging Out of Foster Care
The Junior League of Lancaster is committed to providing support to youth aging out of foster care in Lancaster County. Our League adopted the Issue Based Community Impact (IBCI) model in 2014. After researching our local community and taking an inventory of our members’ passions and competencies, the Junior League of Lancaster selected Aging Out of Foster Care as one of our key community impact areas.
In Lancaster County, there are 100 youth between 16 & 18 in the Foster Care System who will leave the Foster Care System without permanent families or supports.
Based on National averages, of those 100 youth,
- Less than 58 will graduate from high school.
- By age 25, only 3 will have graduated from college compared to 28% of all 25 year olds.
- 20 will be homeless at some point.
- 25 will be involved in the Justice system within 2 years of aging out.
- 35 (or 71%) of the females will be pregnant by age 21
- Only 50 will be employed at age 24
The Aging Out of Foster Care Committee has been tasked with developing relationships with community organizations and developing a multi-year plan in order to make a lasting impact on the lives of youth that are aging out of care.
Our team has identified the following barriers to sustainable independent lives for these youth:
- Education needed to make a livable wage
- Affordable housing
- Mental health and disabilities
- Support Systems and mentoring
- Communication and access to services
The League has embraced Aging Out of Foster Care by implementing the following over the past two years:
- The Welcome Home Kit program was established to offer household items to youth who have recently aged out and are facing the daunting task of equipping their first home. If you know of a need for a Welcome Home Kit, please click here.
- In spring 2016, our new members worked on a project for a home for boys who are preparing to leave care without a support network.
- We continue to make connections around the community to be in touch with and advocate for the youth we aim to serve.
If you want to find out more about our Aging Out of Foster Care initiative, please contact AgingOutofFosterCare@jllancaster.org.