Aging Out of the Child Welfare System in Allegheny County: Descriptive Analysis, Challenges and Implications

Eighty percent of youth in child welfare foster care leave the child welfare system within six months of turning 18.  Unfortunately, many are not ready for the challenges of adulthood.  Youth who age out of the child welfare system are likely to have lower levels of education and employment and higher levels of public assistance, juvenile justice involvement.  This research report describes a quantitative analysis of almost 1,500 youth who aged out of Allegheny County’s foster care system, as well as a qualitative analysis based on interviews with youth. It provides a summary of finding as well as policy and practice recommendations.

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