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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?

Course Discussion

katdr77's picture

katdr77 said:

I think they should begin around age 16 if they already know their plan is to age out. If they come into care or decide on that plan later than that, then at least 6 months is a nice amount of time because of planning, job training, relationship building, and other preparations.
Renita F. Carter's picture

Renita F. Carter said:

I believe they should begin their transition plan once they enter high school but, I believe it depends on the youth. Some are mature enough to begin the transition to adulthood through independent living at an earlier age than others. If it is too much pressure for the youth to handle I feel trying to take another approach to build their skills for adult hood which is also a part of transitioning but does not seem like it such as helping them with a resume to find a part time job and teaching them to cook. Breaking down the transition plans into smaller segments so it is not so overwhelming.
CarolineShafer's picture

CarolineShafer said:

I think that once a child is about the age of 15-16 they should begin their transition plan.
Wilma Byrd's picture

Wilma Byrd said:

I would agree when the child is 14 or maybe 15 start preparing them for the real world and not to burn bridges that you may need to cross again.
amberbobst's picture

amberbobst said:

I believe in giving them your all with providing all the information you can to help them succeed with the transition. Use all the recourses possible and being truthful about the difficulties that aging out can have but reassuring them with a plan and support they can become successful.
Pearce's picture

Pearce said:

The CLS recommend its use between the ages of 14 and 21. I think 14 is a great time to start. The high school years are a great time to learn about what it is to be independent. And, a great time to begin experiencing some independence. A job, driving, a bank account, a phone, etc. Build some confidence, some credit and some life skills all in the safety and security of your home. It is a time when a kid can take on some responsibility and take some chances in an environment that is safe to fail in. We all.learn from failure and what better time to experience it than when you are not "alone." I guess my main thiught in the whole idea of transitioning is, the earlier the better. The earlier you start learning the independent life skills, the better. You may not need them for a few years but you will have them and they will continue to develop and strengthen with time.
abobbitt's picture

abobbitt said:

A teen should start learning the skills to tranistion into society as soon as possible. There are many skills that the youth will need to be taught able to function and make decision as an adult. As foster parent we are youths with the skills need with teaching these
thereserockwell's picture

thereserockwell said:

Foster youth should begin the transition to adulthood as soon as possible. People say 3 months to 3 years. I believe that young people can learn how to budget money, and cook at an early age, adolescence. They should get a job and a driver's license as soon as they are able to. In a natural environment, children learn transitioning skills years before they leave the home.
thereserockwell's picture

thereserockwell said:

Foster youth should begin the transition to adulthood as soon as possible. People say 3 months to 3 years. I believe that young people can learn how to budget money, and cook at an early age, adolescence. They should get a job and a driver's license as soon as they are able to. In a natural environment, children learn transitioning skills years before they leave the home.
eryan's picture

eryan said:

Begin 3 years before transition but gradually according to developmental stage.