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

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.
Evelyn42's picture

Evelyn42 said:

I agree with most people that the age of 14 is a good time to being the process of transition.'s picture

Jenniferstone77... said:

I believe when adolescents are mature enough to have set goals, prove they can be responsible and stable then independent living should surely be an option.
epowell's picture

epowell said:

A reasonable age to start thinking about transition varies person to person. As their guardian, I believe as time goes by you a be able to tell when that child is mature enough to have that conversation. I do believe it’s very important and should always be talked about