Credit hours:
2.50

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

Bmar918's picture

Bmar918 said:

I believe discussions on a transition plan should begin soon after a child begins to talk about “ageing our” or “leaving the system”. With most teenagers, wisdom or advice is better received when it is requested or pursued by the child. By waiting for the child to first mention their desire to “move on”, “to age out” or “to leave” gives the the authority-figure a welcomed and successful opportunity to speak and be heard.
tadisney's picture

tadisney said:

Six months before they turn 18.
Jeanne's picture

Jeanne said:

I believe every day counts, from the time they enter foster care to the day they leave us we should be sowing them life skills and setting a moral and social example as much as possible.
ozbean's picture

ozbean replied:

couldn't agree more. Every day has opportunities to teach kids- even if they are rolling eyes because they "know this already". Making good choices needs to be instilled, both in birth kids as well as foster kids.
Jeanne's picture

Jeanne said:

I believe every day counts, from the time they enter foster care to the day they leave us we should be showing them life skills, goals and setting a moral and social example as much as possible.
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.
crenita's picture

crenita 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.