By the Numbers
70% of young women become pregnant before age 21
25% are dealing with PTSD
60% of girls end up in the sex industry
Fewer than 3% earn a college degree
20% become instantly homeless
Only 50% find employment by age 24.
25% will be incarcerated within 2 years of aging out.
The “foster-care to prison pipeline” is swallowing up unprecedented numbers of foster youth into the criminal justice system; 1 in 4 foster youth go to prison after aging out of foster care.
Being labelled a “foster child” plants powerful preconceptions in the minds of every person these children interact with--foster parents, teachers, healthcare providers, and especially criminal justice practitioners. In many cases, foster youth are viewed as more dangerous and volatile than other kids, and people treat them as such; for example, instead of mediating and de-escalating when a fight breaks out in a foster home, the police get called and the child receives a label that can be even harder to shake: juvenile delinquent.
Certain groups of foster youth are at greater risk of incarceration; foster youth placed in group homes are 2.5 times more likely to be incarcerated, 90% of youth with 5 or more foster placements will enter the criminal justice system, and Black foster youth--who are already vastly over-represented in the foster care system--are at greater risk for incarceration as well.