EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) — More than a third of the 200 kids who age out of foster care each year in Colorado end up without shelter, that’s according to a survey that checks in on former foster care children when they turn 19 and 21.
Kids Crossing, one of 13 agencies in El Paso County that helps place children in foster homes, spoke out about this issue.
“I think there is definitely a call and a need for the community to step up and move forward and try to provide some loving and safe homes for a lot of these kids,” said Ben Schoch, a placement coordinator with Kids Crossing.
“I know that we have a conversation on a daily basis, every single day, for homes that are needed for children specifically in El Paso county.”
According to the State Department Service, in September of 2020, about 133 young adults left the state child welfare system due to aging out. A survey done by the National Youth Advocate Program showed more than a third of foster youth who leave the system in Colorado are homeless by age 21.
Programs, like the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood, are designed to help former foster care children transition successfully into adulthood.
The Chafee Program provides grants, education, employment financial management, housing, and emotional support.
“It is very influential in helping set up a lot of those independent living skills and a lot of the community connections that kids may need that are turning, 18, 19, 20 years old and are heading out of the foster care system. ”
For more information on the Colorado Chafee program and other programs that help foster youths click here.