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Listener Picks: When foster kids become adults

1A listener Priscilla Molina grew up in foster care in the 1960s and 70s.
1A listener Priscilla Molina grew up in foster care in the 1960s and 70s.

Around 25,000 kids age out of the foster care system every year in the U.S. What happens when they do?

In the years immediately following their 18th or 21st birthday (depending on the state), these young adults are likely to struggle in poverty.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than one in five will become homeless. The majority of young women just out of foster care (more than 70 percent) will be pregnant by 21.

The effects of growing up in the system last decades into adulthood, too. We heard from one of our listeners:

— Priscilla Molina (@Leemary) December 8, 2022

Priscilla told us growing up in foster care affects how she relates to others and herself. When she struggles, financially or emotionally, she doesn’t have a family as a safety net to fall back on.

We talk to a panel of former foster youth about what happens when foster kids become adults.

Every January, 1A spends a week discussing topics suggested by our listeners, but we love hearing and producing your ideas all year round. Send us a note: 

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Avery Kleinman