Credit hours:

Course Summary

For youth who have been living in foster care, the transition to adulthood presents many new and often daunting experiences. This course provides foster parents with guidance on how to help youth and emerging adults build a foundation for a successful transition to adult life outside of foster care.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • Unique challenges youth face when exiting foster care

  • Adolescent development and changes in the brain as related to supporting youth in care

  • Laws and programs to support transition aged youth

  • The critical role of foster parents in transition planning and action

  • Tools to empower foster youth to prepare for the transition to adulthood

Step 1

Read this FosterClub Real Story written by Shawn Denise Semelsberger on aging out of foster care unprepared for the drastic transition. 

Step 2

FosterClub recommends foster youth do 21 things before they transition out of care to make sure they have a successful journey to independence. Read FosterClub's "It's T Time" to become familiar with steps foster youth should take before they leave foster care.

Step 3

Read this FosterClub Real Story written by Ricky Ballesteros, who provides valuable youth perspective about why transition planning is important.

Step 4

Review "Helping Youth Transition to Adulthood: Guidance for Foster Parents" developed by the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Step 5

Join the discussion in the comments below to answer the following question:

When do you think a young person should begin their transition plan, and what are some important considerations as a supportive adult in their life?

Step 6

Finished the module? If you are logged in as a subscribed user, take the quiz to earn your Continuing Education Credit hours and certificate!

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Course Discussion

Sheralzeno's picture

Sheralzeno said:

I think planning should start at least 12 months before they age out, if not sooner, to insure adequate time is allowed for any obstacles or delays.
Toftesa's picture

Toftesa said:

A transition plan should start at least a year before they leave, some of things needed for daily life should be started as soon as they are teenagers.
mwilson518's picture

mwilson518 said:

I think that generally speaking, all kids should be constantly prepared for adulthood. For foster children specifically, it will simply be different for every child, as they are all unique with their own struggles, strengths, and situations. It's key for foster parents to be on the lookout for readiness in all of the areas of preparation and to help teach them life skills along the way rather than waiting until they are about to age out.
Mtic1977's picture

Mtic1977 said:

I say six months before they leave care
aarmentano's picture

aarmentano said:

I think as soon as possible in high school. The choices/grades they make throughout high school will effect college and career choices.
bennetthobbs's picture

bennetthobbs said:

It is hard enough for youth in "normal" circumstances to transition into adulthood, let alone those going through the foster care system. Without basic survival skills, a young adult is ripe for becoming even more disadvantaged.
cat10141966's picture

cat10141966 said:

If emotionally and psychologically able to comprehend the aspect of what is happening, then i believe that by the time these children are 16 they should be being taught how to handle their own day to day activities, Dr.s appointments, driving permits, shopping, etc. Hopefully by the time they transition out of care they have learned to be self sufficient.
m.reyes's picture

m.reyes said:

Supporting the youth with in the last year gives the youth time to make changes with the added support.
HeatherPC's picture

HeatherPC said:

I believe the child who is progressing normally towards their HS graduation, an initial transition plan should be started by age 14 or 9th grade which ever come first, or for those children a little behind academically, say 15 and still in middle school, an initial transition plan should be developed and some of the universal life skills like making appointments, learning to articulate themselves at doctors visits, coming to the grocery, shopping, budgeting and saving skills should be initiated that they become innate by 17. As the young adult approaches 18 then the additional life skills getting ids, health insurance, job hunting and housing skills etc can be addressed and practiced so as not to overwhelm in the last year of care.
lauraphamby's picture

lauraphamby said:

By the time a child is in high school, he or she needs to be guided in life skills so that by the time of graduation, the transition can be made as smoothly as possible.