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

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.
covertmelanie's picture

covertmelanie said:

While I think its great that children are assisted with coming up with their transition plan, 90 days seems like a short time frame. I think youth should begin to work on their transition plan around the age of 17, this gives them a year to plan to reconsider and to begin taking over minor responsibilities for themselves.
Ratworld3's picture

Ratworld3 said:

children should be learning important independent life skills throughout their life. simple finance can be taught at a very early age with allowance.
MCSemones's picture

MCSemones said:

The transition plan should probably phase in early high school; life skills should be taught as soon as developmentally appropriate for each kid's situation, and built into their day-to-day life to give them time to learn, practice, make mistakes, and grow successfully.
Rena C. Shook's picture

Rena C. Shook said:

I think someone should fix the bugs in this course! I click on the stories and I get a grey blob saying what we are about, Frustrating! I have been a member before and someone changed it! Not for the better!
Lamedin's picture

Lamedin said:

Depending on the youths maturity, transition should be started as soon as reasonably possible. The sooner the teen gets the necessities of life in place the easier it will be for them to make a smoother move into the adult world. It is our job to be supportive and helpful during these times and provide as much insight and resources as possible.'s picture

requiempress@gm... said:

At least 90 days, but ideally each day should be a preparation.
brookiedee's picture

brookiedee said:

Youth should begin their transition plan when they are in high school. I remember having an afterschool job, opening a checking account and buying things for myself. If I had not learned these things in high school I would not have transition into adulthood easily. I was not raised in foster care but I experienced some of the same challenges teenagers do after I moved out of my home at the age of 18. Having a strong adult support team was also beneficial to transitioning to independence.