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

ericjo50's picture

ericjo50 said:

I think youth need to start thinking about a transition plan in the early years of high school. They may change their minds many times so starting early will benefit them.
jmangen1974's picture

jmangen1974 said:

I think the latest a child should start their transition plan is the beginning of high school. They should start thinking about what it is they want to do after high school and plan their school schedule accordingly. Maybe even think about going to a vocational school with a work program.
Jbrundage2678's picture

Jbrundage2678 said:

I feel as though children should be taught these responsibilities as soon as they show signs of understanding money. Whether it be from an allowance or money received by other means. A child in care should be offered life skills by the state as part of their times in care. This would help foster parents refine thier general skill set.
Susan.Peveler's picture

Susan.Peveler said:

Young people should begin their transition plan at the beginning of high school if possible. There are so many good career/trade certificate programs available for free to all students in high school, but many of them begin in their Junior year and the student has to have passing grades in the previous two years to get into the programs. The earlier you can involve a young person in their future planning, the better.
tessarbrown's picture

tessarbrown said:

I think career planning in school should begin in eighth grade, so similar timeline for "life-planning" would be appropriate
Mindy Meyers's picture

Mindy Meyers said:

I think 16 is a good age.
EvanCramer's picture

EvanCramer said:

Long before their 18th birthday!
NCramer's picture

NCramer said:

Beginning in adolescence, according to the guide. So, as soon as a teen enters your home!
Fearfully's picture

Fearfully said:

When the observation of the mental capacity and maturity of the child deems feasible.
KimberlyA's picture

KimberlyA said:

Age 13 to 14 is a good time to start the planning. It's the age you normally start with most kid's, and is reasonable for those in care.