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Growing Up and Aging Out
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Growing Up and Aging OutYouth in foster care need safe, stable and permanent families. Children don’t just need their families when they are young. Family plays a critical role throughout childhood but that support continues into adulthood. For most children, their parents teach them right from wrong, help them in school, support them as they learn how to make friends and manage relationships. In most families, when a child turns 18, he or she goes off to college, trade school, work or the military. But amidst holiday breaks and summer vacations, most youth have a home to return to and parents to support and guide them for a lifetime – parents who will be there to cheer them on at their college graduation, co-sign a loan to help them buy a car or a house, walk them down the aisle, and celebrate the birth of grandchildren.

But that’s not the case for some 1,100 Pennsylvania youth who age out of foster care each year into uncertain circumstances, without a permanent family or home. Nationally, some 25,000 youth age out of the foster care system each year before they can be reunited with their parents, adopted or placed permanently with relatives.¹ Sadly, some end up homeless and others, in jail. Most can’t afford to go to college, and never will. When youth languish in foster care and are not part of permanent families, their longterm safety and well-being is threatened.

This report was released in April 2009 and reflects the most recent data available. For more information, click here or contact KIDS COUNT Director Sandy Moore at

Data Tables
Median Length of Stay for Youth Age 13 and Over in Foster Care on 9/30/2008 and Number of Placements for Youth in Care Between 12 and 24 Months (PDF)

Youth Age 13 and Over Adopted Between 10/1/07 and 9/30/08 and Median Length of Stay (In Months) For Each Reporting Period (PDF)

Youth Age 13 and Over By Removal Reason, 9/30/08 (PDF)

Youth Age 13 and Over Discharged to Reunification Between 10/1/06 and 9/30/07 and Number Who Re-Entered Foster Care Within Twelve Months of Discharge By 9/30/08 (PDF)

Youth Age 13 and Over In Foster Care by Permanency Goal, September 2008 (PDF)


-Click here for a list of Citations/Sources


Media Coverage
Coming soon!