Engaging Young People in their Transition Planning

Roxana Torrico Meruvia, MSW

Child Welfare

Practice Perspectives


Older youth in foster care are confronted with an overwhelming number of adult decisions as they prepare to leave the child welfare system. Young adults take much longer to reach social and economic maturity than others of the same age group 50 years ago (Berlin, Furstenberg, & Waters, 2010). Most young people in the United States can rely on their families to help them well into adulthood. In fact, 41% percent of parents indicated they provide some level of financial assistance to their children ages 23 to 28 (Charles Schwab, 2010). However, foster youth are still forced to make significant life decisions with limited, if any support. Unlike their peers, they must make important decisions such as where they are going to live, how they are going to pay for housing and who they can contact in case of an emergency.

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