New Report: The Experiences of Older Youth In & Aged Out of Foster Care During COVID-19

Posted by The Field Center for Children's Policy Practice & Research on October 13, 2020

The results of the study The Experiences of Older Youth In & Aged Out of Foster Care During COVID-19 are now available!

This is the first national study on the experiences of older youth in care and recently aged out during COVID-19. Our goal was to elucidate the social and economic burden of the pandemic on these already marginalized young people. Our results reveal a heavy burden, highlighting just how vulnerable this population is in a disaster context, or as one participant expressed, “I was already broke – now I feel broken.” More than half of the participants reported significant difficulties related to food security, educational progress, employment, finances, and/or mental health.

Additionally, identifying as cisgender female and being aged out of foster care appear to correspond with increased adversity, compared to identifying as cisgender male and still being in foster care. More research is needed to further understand what happens to marginalized young people, like those with foster care experiences, during disasters.

This study is an important first step in building and leveraging this knowledge to inform policy and practice changes so that when disaster strikes again, our systems can more effectively respond to the safety, health, and well-being needs of youth with foster care experiences.

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