“Teens in Foster Care Need Greater Focus”
Today we feature a recent post from Voices member Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, whose important new report highlights challenges facing older youth in the foster system.
In December 2011, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children released its annual State of Child Welfare report. While this report highlighted several positive trends related to children involved with the child welfare system, it also noted the commonwealth continues to face challenges serving older youth (teenagers and young adults) in foster care. Almost half of the foster care population in Pennsylvania is composed of teenagers and almost half of these youth reside in group homes or institutions. What is even more troubling is that these youth are much less likely to be adopted or enter legal guardianship than their younger peers. Even though Pennsylvania had a record 2,300 adoptions from foster care in 2010, fewer than 9 percent of those adoptions involved teenagers. Similarly, these youth comprised less than 40 percent of children who entered legal guardianship that year.