While young people can stay in the foster care system until the age of 21, in practice, most exit much earlier. Young people who age out of foster care experience disproportionate rates of homelessness, unemployment, unplanned pregnancies, incarceration, human trafficking, and reliance on public assistance.
20 year old William Patton was emancipated from foster care in 2015. He says he wasn’t prepared for the challenges that lay ahead. “When you’re in foster care you normally have things provided for you, you don’t learn everyday things that an adult would know when they leave their parents’ home. You have limited resources. A lot of the time you don’t have credit. You don’t learn about that stuff.”
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