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Progressives call push to change Constitution "risky," Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks, insurers while building real estate empire; new report compares ways NY can get cleaner air, help disadvantaged communities.

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House Speaker McCarthy aims to pin a shutdown on White House border policies, President Biden joins a Detroit auto workers picket line and the Supreme Court again tells Alabama to redraw Congressional districts for Black voters.

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An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

Report: Fewer Youth Transition Out of MA Foster Care System

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Monday, May 22, 2023   

The number of children transitioning out of the foster care system has dropped significantly in Massachusetts, according to a new report.

The number of teens age 14 and older leaving foster care in the Commonwealth fell from 48% in 2006, to 28% in 2021.

Grey Hilliard-Koshinsky, program manager for the Massachusetts Network of Foster Care Alumni, said foster youth transitioning to college on their own face unique challenges in feeling as if they belong.

"You're going onto campus and seeing other people who live very differently than maybe you grew up when you were in foster care," Hilliard-Koshinsky explained. "We all need people who have been through what we have to know that success is possible."

Hilliard-Koshinsky pointed to Bridgewater State University, where a special housing program helps foster youth without a place to go during school breaks, and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, where the Navigators Club helps foster youth in need of additional academic and social support.

Nationally, child welfare systems find families for fewer than half of teenagers and young adults in foster care, leaving many students to rely on school counselors to help them navigate the college application process.

Todd Lloyd, senior policy associate for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, said extending foster care to people after age 18 offers them a greater chance of success.

"We really encourage states to consider ways that they can encourage young people to remain in foster care after the age of 18 If they don't have a permanent family," Lloyd emphasized.

While Massachusetts allows young people to remain in the foster care system until age 22, Lloyd acknowledged very few actually use extended foster care. He stressed foster youth deserve the help of supportive adults to ensure a successful transition to adulthood.

Disclosure: The Annie E. Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Education, Juvenile Justice, and Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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