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Aging Out of Foster Care in Idaho

As foster youth near adulthood, they greatly benefit from the guidance and support that parental figures or caregivers provide. Unfortunately, many older foster youth leave the foster care system without these support systems, which impacts any opportunities for a successful transition to adulthood. RISE Services, Inc. Idaho is one of many resources that serves and advocates for foster youth aging out of foster care. With an effective transition plan, valuable resources, and a robust support system, older foster youth have a greater chance of successfully moving toward independence.

Aging Out of Foster Care in Idaho

Statistics for Aging Out Foster Youth in Idaho

Before Idaho made reforms to support youth aging out of the foster care system, there needed to be more opportunities for effective transitions to independence. Let’s take a look at some statistics regarding Idaho’s foster youth.

  • In 2021, 40% of Idaho’s foster youth aged out of the system without permanent legal connections to family, caregivers, or adult support.
  • 80% of foster youth who were 21 years old in 2018 and 61% who were 21 years old in 2021 had experienced incarceration.
  • 80% of Idaho foster youth received a high school diploma or GED, which is 10% lower than the national average of 90% for all youth.

From Adverse Outcomes to Successful Transitions

These statistics are only a partial picture of life as a foster child moving to adulthood. They are at higher risk of becoming homeless, financially unstable, and falling behind their peers. It is essential to ensure that youth aging out of Idaho’s foster care system have access to resources and benefits to help them become thriving and independent adults. 

One such resource is the 2008 Fostering Transitions to Success and Increasing Adoption Act. This federal program funds Idaho’s extended foster care program, which allows youth to remain in the system until they are 21. Many foster youths who take advantage of this extension experience these benefits:

  • Progress further in their education
  • Gain more access to physical and mental health services
  • Experience fewer incidents with the criminal justice system
  • Encounter fewer financial hardships and improved housing stability

How RISE Advocates for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

RISE Services, Inc. Idaho specializes in Independent Living Workshops that provide critical support and teach essential life skills to youth between 14 and 21 years of age who are in foster care or aging out. We work with foster youth in the following areas:

  • Assess current readiness for independence and identify goals and objectives to become independent
  • Provide monthly independent living classes that build essential life skills for adulthood, such as managing money, building a resume, interviewing for a job, and finding housing resources
  • Offer ongoing case management to help them locate resources and access services during this transition

Foster Care Services for Idaho Youth

If you are a foster parent to a youth nearing independence, contact RISE Services, Inc. Idaho about our strengths-based and person-centered independent living services. We look forward to supporting you and your foster child through this transition and helping your foster child meet their independence goals.

Source: Guido, Laura. “For Foster Kids, ‘Aging Out’ Brings New Problems.” Web article. The Lewiston Tribune. Lewiston Morning Tribune, 10 May. 2023. Web. 06 Aug. 2023.