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

Sithrune's picture

Sithrune said:

A child should begin thinking about their plan as early as elementary school and no later than middle school. I have asked children, "what do you want to do when you grow up?" and "How are you going to become that?". It helps them understand they need to plan. Then we show them the resources and try and be a source of information for them to get there. It's never too early.
svickers21's picture

svickers21 said:

Youth should begin from day 1 entering into the FCare system. Providing that they obtain strong parental support, DSS and legal guidance up until the time that they are able to actively participate and embrace the steps that it will take to enter into adulthood. Prayerfully the family that has been their support system in the past will continue to be a strong presence throughout the youths/young adults life. Children just want to know that someone is PROUD of them!
taylormeents's picture

taylormeents said:

We should begin talking to kids around the age of 16. Starting to prepare them for the future, employment, college, cooking, laundry, ect... It's a lot to take in and the sooner we start preparing them the easier it is to transition.
JacobFranz's picture

JacobFranz said:

Helping a foster teen (or any teen) prepare for adulthood is constant task that should be woven throughout daily life as you cook, grocery shop, pay bills, etc. However, in the last few years of high school as foster teens approach the time when they will live independently, foster parents should work with all stakeholders to make sure that the foster teen has built a strong community and knows how to access vital services.
hroden's picture

hroden said:

Transition plan should be started as soon as the child turns 16, talk and comments about college and what they want to be when they grow up is important. Many times age 18 arrives and the child is very lost, confused and scared.
Dlmerten09's picture

Dlmerten09 said:

We should always be helping kids to become independent and learn to help themselves.
rdaniel's picture

rdaniel said:

I think the maturity level would determine when to begin a transition plan.
SGRIER's picture

SGRIER said:

Teaching children even as toddlers, prepare them for transition. Picking up toys, knowing vegetables, saving in piggy banks all have long lasting effects if the Provider of care is consistent. As the child grows into adolescence bank accounts, going grocery shopping or preparing a grocery list, chores are all skills that a transitioning adult would need.
Faith2017's picture

Faith2017 said:

At 14 at the latest, they will be dealing with some of these topics in school and this will supplement that experience, They need to start saving then, learn how to manage a checking account and balance a checkbook.
Jeanne's picture

Jeanne said:

I think that youth should be educated about these things in small increments from 5 on and zeroing in more detail in middle School through High school.