Credit hours:

Course Summary

For teenagers 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
  • Laws and programs to support transitioning youth
  • The critical role of foster parents
  • Tools to empower foster youth to prepare for the transition to adulthood

Step 1

Read this FosterClub Real Story written by Shawn Denise Semelsberger. She provides youth perspective about aging out of foster care unprepared.

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, he 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?

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Course Discussion

rhiannon's picture

rhiannon said:

I think youth should begin their transition plan as early as possible so they are well prepared.
hanchettbj's picture

hanchettbj said:

Youth should begin making their transition plan at least at age 16 so that long term and short term goals can be made and met prior to the youth leaving the home.
Hanchettdan's picture

Hanchettdan said:

I think youths in general should start learning life skills like taxes and balancing a check book and budgeting and other items that are required as adults as early as 13 years old.
Mkeppley2's picture

Mkeppley2 said:

At least a year before they transition out. Also they should get help from. Also I believe your foster child should have a independent living coach. It really helped my foster son learn how to do everything he would need to live on his own.'s picture

mvenoy0706@outl... said:

All transition plans look different. I think all children should learn life skills and responsibility at a young age. They should that they need to work for what they want. They also should be made aware of all the resources available to them.
sleckwee's picture

sleckwee said:

I have started the process of earning money very young. My 8 yr old could spend every dime we have (LOL). I have him on a plan - he earns $1 every time he puts away dishes. It is great to see him at the store calculating how many times he has to put dishes away to get certain toys. He also gets very excited when he feels he "earned" the money himself to pay for that toy. He is doing great! Also note: he is not lacking toys, he just wants them all :)
Janieb814's picture

Janieb814 said:

Transition plans will look different for every child. With typical youth you can start with age-appropriate conversations about life skills from the beginning. Base discussions and activities with each child according to their maturity and capabilities. Let them be involved with cooking and cleaning as soon as it can be done safely. Even elementary students can learn about money management on small scales and working for want they want. Once a teen is in high school especially, there should be frequent discussions and activities preparing them for adulthood.
rebekahjoy78's picture

rebekahjoy78 said:

Transition plans look different for each person. In our home, life-skill discussion happen early - as soon as they are mature enough to talk about it. We share what we do in our life with bills, schedules, jobs, and school. We help them navigate their firsts (interviews, tests, applications) and help them compile the paperwork that was mentioned in many of these articles (proof of being in care, ID, ss card, birth certificate, medical cards.) We don't do everything for them, but rather, we go along side them as they do the actual work at the pace that is healthy for them. At 18, they can choose to leave, but they don't have to. And even if they do, they are family, and we still treat them as family. They call with questions, come home to hang out and celebrate holidays/birthdays, do laundry :-) - all the things kids would do with family.
merollba's picture

merollba said:

really appreciated the practical advice and tips given in the material to help kids in foster care transition to the next phase of their life as they get old enough to be on their own. There are so many things we take for granted that were taught to us by our parents and its important to understand that we need to be purposeful in teaching and equipping kids in foster care along those lines.
ktrickel's picture

ktrickel said:

They should begin a transition plan a year out from their 18th birthday.