We’ve shared with you one young person’s experience of aging out during the COVID-19 pandemic and last week highlighted the advocacy efforts that are aimed at securing additional funding and support for young adults in foster care. This week, let’s look at the numbers.
A recent national survey of youth ages 18 to 23 who are in or have aged out of foster care looked to find out just how COVID-19 has impacted the population. The results aren’t surprising. 72% of those surveyed said that their financial situation would be stable for no more than one month. 67% stated that the pandemic was impacting their educational progress, and 55% reported being food insecure as a result of COVID-19. As for mental health, more than half reported clinically-significant levels of depression and/or anxiety.
COVID-19 has been challenging for all of us, but it is fair to say that some populations have been more deeply affected than others - including youth in foster care. To help them, we need to ensure that services and resources are widely available and accessible. If you haven’t yet, check out the #UpChafee movement. And in the meantime, check in with the youth you know. Reaching out may seem like a small act, but it carries with it a huge impact.