By the time they are 23 and 24, young people who have “aged out” of foster care are three times more likely than their peers in the general population to not have a high school diploma or its equivalency, according to the latest findings from a long-running study of foster children’s transition to adulthood.
The study was conducted by researchers from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and Partners for Our Children at the University of Washington in Seattle. It tracks 602 young people in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
Compared with a nationally representative sample of young people who were not in foster care, the study finds, the former foster-care children are also half as likely to have attended college and one-fifth as likely to have earned a college degree. They also have disproportionately high rates of joblessness, out-of-wedlock pregnancies, criminal convictions, and poverty, according to the study.
A version of this article appeared in the April 21, 2010 edition of Education Week as Foster Children