Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

Page 1 of 6

Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

By | August 2013
Page 1 of 6
Introduction
Across the country, on an annual basis, varied aged youth are disposed into foster care for a variety of reasons such as uncontrolled behaviors, parental/caretaker abuse, neglect and/or substance dependence of a parent/caretaker. Intended to be impermanent, arrangements [foster care placement] are with an understanding of the primary goal being that of reunification with the parent/caretaker in the majority cases. Contrariwise, an ever-increasing percentage of youth entering the foster care system are unable to succeed in reunifying with their parent/caretaker. Due to the inability to reunify, the youth’s reside within the foster care system until age eighteen at which point they [the youth] “age out” of the foster care system. Upon discharge, the youth are typically unprepared to navigate through their lives successfully. Most lack education, housing, medical insurance, and are deficient in adaptive skills (self-direction), functional academics for everyday life, social skills, persistent mental illness, substance abuse disorders and an extensive involvement in the criminal justice system translating into, among other issues, unemployment/underemployment, unstable housing, imprisonment, and various mental health and medical illnesses that can progress unaddressed. Field Setting

CBH collaborates with the Division of Social Services (DSS) where each youth receives Medical Assistance [health coverage], while CBH covers the behavioral health portion of treatment for those youth who have a need. Behavioral health issues have an increased risk due to multiple placements within the foster care system. Clinical Care Managers at CBH oversee the discharge planning process in collaboration with providers such as Department of Human Services (DHS) where the youth is in surrogate placement. Population Served

The served population are the youth committed to oversight by the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, who are in substitute care...