The Fostering Youth Success Alliance reported last year that only 20% of youth who age out of New York’s foster care system will ever set foot on a college campus. “The instability of multiple home and school placements, a lack of emotional and financial support from parents and the prospect of aging out of the foster care system at age 21 and with no support system are just some of the barriers that prevent many foster youth from reaching their potential.”
Following this report, a New York coalition of 17 social services and advocacy groups requested the state provide financial college support for 375 foster youth, with that number increasing over the years. Additionally, the New York coalition has asked for counseling support for these youth to help them file applications and find tutors. Initial cost for the program would be $2.9 million and will rise each year, reaching $8.6 million by the sixth year. At that point, it is estimated that there would be over 1,200 youth benefiting from the program.
It is estimated that this year about 11,000 children will enter the foster care system in the state of New York. With 25% of kids aging out of foster care becoming homeless within four years and half unemployed by age 24, anything that will assist these youth in furthering their education could make a huge difference.