Foster Care Until 21

A recent article explains why young adults in foster care have better outcomes when they receive care until 21 years of age.


Adoption STAR Founder/CEO Michele Fried shared an interesting article with staff, after Adoption STAR’s Joyce Morier (an agency Adoption Social Worker) initially brought it to her attention.

Published on May 11, 2016 in The Chronicle of Social Change, Nadra Nettle’s article, entitled, “Study Finds Foster Youth Fare Better When They Receive Care Until 21,” is a fascinating read. It seems as though many youth in care who turn 18 view this milestone birthday as an opportunity to finally leave the child protective system behind and strike out on their own. However, the study finds that the outcomes (as well as the perception of how satisfied or unsatisfied the youth were with their foster care experience in general) change dramatically for the better for youth that stay in care after they turn 18. For example:

“Steven Ambrocio, a former foster youth who aged out of extended care on his 21st birthday three months ago, said that he can relate to this finding, and that communication between social workers and foster youth needs to improve.

A Pasadena City College student, Ambrocio said he regrets not finding out sooner about the resources available to help him pay for his education.

He also wishes he’d received more preparation to live on his own. Two years ago, he received his own apartment as part of a transitional housing program, but living alone proved challenging.

‘I wasn’t ready emotionally and financially, so I was able to get help from my youth advocate and my therapist,’ he said. ‘I have a mentor who helps me budget. It’s not easy when you don’t have your family.’

But after entering foster care when he was about 10 years old, Ambrocio said he’s doing well today. He works as a surgical nursing assistant at a Pasadena hospital and hopes to become a surgeon one day.”

To read the full article, click on the following link: “Study Finds Foster Youth Fare Better When They Receive Care Until 21″