These youth  about 20,000 per year in the United States  stay in foster care until they are emancipated after their eighteenth birthday. There are approximately 424,000 foster youth nationwide. Slightly fewer were exiting from placements with relatives. We examine the effect of race/ethnicity, gender, age at first placement (or AFDC/TANF entry), major urban region(s) (Cook County in Illinois, LA County in California and the MSA counties in South Carolina) versus balance of the state, type of placement, time in most recent episode of service, and the reason for foster care placement on the likelihood of having earnings and the amount of earnings. This means that youth who are female, white, from non-primary urban areas, in care for neglect, who exit from a group home or institution, and are reunified have greater earnings in South Carolina than in Illinois and California. These data provide quarterly earnings for each job included in the UI system. Across the existing literature, youth who age out of foster care are found to have less stable employment and lower earnings than youth in the general population (Courtney et al. The benefits of the program offer the possibility of covering room and board, post-secondary educational assistance, and Medicaid coverage for these youth. That is a 4% increase from the number of children in foster care in 2012. We model the amount of earnings during the first 8 quarters after turning 18 using ordinary least squares regression. Many still in high school, these teens find themselves in need of jobs, a place to live, and a means of transportation to survive. The unemployment rate for youth was 18.5 percent in July 2020, down from … There are a number of additional questions that need to be addressed before the field has a complete picture of the challenges that these youth face, and then, to understand what programs might help improve outcomes. (1999). These are primarily those youth who age out. In California, the percentage of aging-out youth who had earnings grew steadily during the 13-quarter study period to a high of about 42 percent. We attempted to use the same procedure to link in each of the three states to assure the greatest comparability. Aging-out youth have the lowest earnings in all three states, when controlling for the other covariates. Specifically, we analyze the likelihood of youth having earnings both prior to and after their eighteenth birthday, the amount of earnings during this period, and the change in earnings from the first to the second year after their eighteenth birthday. Survey data, however, also are problematic when sporadic or short term employment are involved. Not only is this a tragic loss of potential, but our economy as a whole suffers a cost of $1million per youth we fail because of lost production and the cost of social services. The importance of this is that California youth make a very large jump in earnings between their first and second years after turning 18. Although in general they reflect the demographics of the state, African American youth are overrepresented and white youth are underrepresented. Yet, among all foster youth who participated in a federally funded transition service in 2015, just 23% received education support or employment assistance. In addition, whether youth aging out of foster care look better or worse on employment measures when compared to youth reunified with their families and youth on welfare is inconsistent. Yet, among all foster youth who participated in a federally funded transition service in 2015, just 23% received education support or employment assistance. Female youth and youth from non-urban areas were generally more likely to be employed prior to their eighteenth birthday than males or youth from the primary urban areas of each state, although this might be a function of different types of available jobs for males and females and the possibility that more females were captured in the data that we used. Within four years of aging out, 50% have no earnings, and those who do make an average annual income of $7,500. Regardless, roughly 20,000 youth are forced to exit the system annually without having found a forever family, leaving them to fend for themselves. Their biological parents are taken from them at a very young age, which can have a huge impact on their cognitive and emotional development growing up if they are not cared for properly in their youth. With this tragic lack of investment, it is not surprising that youth are not adequately prepared for independence. Over 70 percent of female foster youth will become pregnant by 21, and one in four former foster youth will experience PTSD. Youth aging out of foster care earn significantly less than youth in any of the comparison groups both prior to and after their eighteenth birthday. Of interest for this study, the law provides federal funds for states to provide services to ex-foster care youth ages 18-21, regardless of Title IV-E eligibility, for purposes of obtaining a high school diploma, career exploration, vocational training, and job placement and retention. Employment data for the UW Foster School of Business Full-time MBA Program is compiled from responses of graduates who share their employment information with MBA Career Management. Targeted transition services can help. In Illinois, nearly 74 percent of the aging-out youth were last served in living arrangements other than foster homes, kinship care, and institutions  primarily independent living. 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