According to iFoster’s website, in 2020, there is approximately 424,000 foster youth nationwide. The median age of children in foster care is 6 ½ years old, while 20,000 youth age out of the foster care system between the ages of 18 – 21 annually, and within four years of aging out, 50% have no earnings and those who do make an average annual income of $7,500.1
As of February 1, 2021, according to the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS), there are approximately 12,096 children in foster in the state of Georgia. These children in “DFCS custody can be placed in kinship homes, foster homes, adoptive homes, private agencies, group homes, hospitals, or youth detentions centers” 2. The graph below denotes the current demographics of children in foster care:
It is reported that “foster kids who age out and fail to make a life for themselves cost taxpayers $350 million a year in lost productivity, incarceration and welfare and other government assistance programs”. Roughly 25% of those aged out of foster care in Georgia will become homeless in their first year; 50% of them will be homeless within the first four years. About 71% of these young adult girls will become pregnant within the first year out of foster care, and 81% of these young boys will have an encounter with law enforcement.3
Aging out of Foster can Indeed lead to a life of misery. Sadly some of these teens will become victims of human trafficking. “Human trafficking, or modern-day slavery, represents an imminent threat throughout the world, with an estimated 1.5 million victims in the U.S. alone”. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. 4 The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently named Atlanta as one of the top fourteen cities with abnormally high rates of human trafficking.
That’s why at Saperia Dreams Organization, Inc., we are providing aging out of the foster care system a safe and secure place to live, along with resources to support and equip their transition. We hope to prevent homelessness, human trafficking, and drug addiction by providing housing, education, and job skills. Saperia Dreams Organization focuses on transitional housing for youth aging out of the foster care system, typically between 16 and 24 years old. Please contact us for more information on how you can help these individuals.