While it is never easy for young adults to transition out of foster care at the age of 18, those who are aging out amid the COVID-19 global pandemic are facing a much tougher challenge. These young adults often have little to no support circle around them and are trying to balance a job with obtaining their secondary education. So, when COVID-19 hit their community, and society came to a halt, many of them had no one to turn to for help or comfort, and very little savings to help them get by while their jobs were put on hold.
According to a recent article by the Orlando Sentinel, “nearly 65% of “transition-age” foster care youth lost their jobs because of the pandemic,” and “half of those who applied for unemployment benefits didn’t receive the assistance. More than half of all respondents said they didn’t receive a stimulus check.” In addition, the Sentinel noted that, “More than 20% said they were forced to move or fear they will be forced to leave their current housing situation, according to the survey. Some noted their housing was tied to schooling, leaving them unsure where they’ll go if schools don’t reopen in the fall.”
All the stress that these young adults are going through is heartbreaking. As Glen Casel, the CEO of Embrace Families, told the Sentinel, “It’s hard enough to turn 18 and transition to adulthood alone, but finding a job or going away to college during a global pandemic and recession is an extraordinary challenge.” So, here at Heart of Adoptions, Inc, we encourage you to consider helping these youth in any way you can.
You could volunteer and/or donate to Impower, “a leading non-profit mental health, substance misuse and child well-being organization [in Central Florida] dedicated to empowering the lives of those in need by offering personal attention, counseling, assistance, and inspiration to help them reach their full potential and achieve individual success.” Or, you could consider learning more about Foster Care in Florida and find other ways to support children in Foster Care.
Here are several articles worth reading about young adults aging out of foster care during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Orlando Sentinel: Young People Aging out of Foster Care Face Added Burden Amid Pandemic
USA Today: We Need Heroes Right Now: Pleas for Foster Families Amid Coronavirus
The Nation: What Happens When You Age Out of Foster Care During a Pandemic?