Young people in and leaving foster care are still struggling during the pandemic with many unable to make ends meet. With the economy disrupted, many have lost their jobs and fear being forced to move. 33% of youth polled by Foster Club reported that they had less than a week’s worth of cash on hand. With the fear of aging out looming over many youth in the child welfare system, Congress must act now.
We need to reach youth in every state to ensure they receive the support and protections needed during the COVID-19 pandemic. While some movement has been seen at the state-level, with Connecticut, Illinois, California, Rhode Island, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, and Indiana all enacting moratoriums on aging out of the foster care system, immediate action is needed at the federal level.
Alongside young people with lived experience in the foster care system and other national, state, and local organizations, we sent a letter urging Congress to provide provisions in their COVID-19 relief bills. We demand support for young people during the crisis including increasing Chafee Funding by $500 million and preventing youth from aging out.