More than 23,000 children will reach age 18 and age out of the foster care system this year.  They will become Foster Alumni, graduates of the system.  They will join a select group of young adults facing the world with struggles and difficulties from circumstances beyond their control.  With only 51% graduating from high school and 20% facing homelessness before age 19, many Foster Alumni will be forced to make decisions for their future without an adequate educational background, without proper housing and nutrition, and without the tools and support they need.

In addition to the numerous logistical challenges that lay ahead, many Foster Alumni struggle with deep wounding and emotional scars.  Those with previous foster care experience are seven times more likely to have depression and five times more likely to suffer with anxiety than their peers.  Additionally, they are diagnosed with PTSD at a rate twice as high as that of U.S. war veterans.  These young adults are entering adulthood with obstacles and burdens that affect the way they interact and build relationships with others, their work performance, their decision making skills, and their ability to process circumstances around them. 

Although the statistics are grim, at OWR we believe that Hope Changes Everything!  We believe there is hope for Foster Alumni and we intend to help where we can.  While some supportive programming exists to help transitioning youth, many experience logistical challenges and frustrations in planning their next steps. Our Foster to Adult program wants to come alongside these young adults and help support their needs and build relationships.  

Please join the Foster to Adult team in February 2023 for the Stock the Pantry event, supporting the Foster Alumni of Scholar House 3.  Follow our social media or subscribe to our email list for more details about how you, your small group or your church can support the nutritional needs of these young adults.  By supporting the OWR Foster to Adult program, you are helping young adults overcome the circumstances that they were handed and build a life they desire. 

For more information about how you can directly impact the life and future of a Foster Alumni, contact maryjo@orphanworldrelief.org.

Sources: National Foster Youth Initiative, Alternative Family Services and American Society for the Positive Care of Children  

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