The System Condones Abuse Once Youth Reach the Age of Legal Adulthood

The System Is Broken

Many of us have heard the horrifying stories about what young people often endure when they age out of foster care. Homelessness, further abuse, criminal justice involvement, and early pregnancy are common effects of the child welfare system abandoning these traumatized individuals and expecting them to be able to achieve financial independence years earlier than most outside the child welfare system, where the average age of financial independence is 26 years old. So many young people are left having to choose between homelessness and moving back in with their biological families, even if they are abusive.

Thankfully, at the very least, we are starting to have a meaningful dialogue about how to help individuals who age out of the system and encourage permanent placements of teenagers at risk of aging out of care. But what happens to those who grow up in abusive homes and speak out in a desperate…

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