Today, the National Foster Care Youth & Alumni Policy Council released a new statement: A Historic Opportunity to Reform the Child Welfare System: Youth & Alumni Priorities on Older Youth Successful Transition to Adulthood with 4 priorities with consideration on how to move towards a 21st Century Child Welfare System.
Priority 1: Well-Being: We need continuity of health services that support our well-being. Mental health needs to be prioritized as we transition to adulthood.
Priority 2: High Quality Legal Representation: Young people should have access to high quality legal representation.
Priority 3: Aging Out: Youth should have access to resources and a realistic transition plan to ensure they are on track to succeed when they exit foster care and especially if they age out of foster care.
Priority 4: Normalcy: Promoting normalcy is essential for the youth's well being. In an ideal world, we want a young person to have access to a healthy support system that encourages them to realize their dreams through education, apprenticeship, and support from family and friends.
This is the fourth and final in a series of recommendations under "A Historic Opportunity to Reform the Child Welfare System: Youth & Alumni Priorities." Previously released recommendations include: Preventing Unnecessary Removal of Children from their Families, Quality Residential Services and Special Populations.