Over 4,000 middle- and high-school-aged youth are entrusted to the care of New York City through the foster care system, and approximately 600-700 age out of the system each year without a consistent adult to rely on.
Fair Futures is a coalition of child welfare agencies, non-profits, foundations, advocates and young adults working to ensure we fulfill our promise to New York City’s foster youth. We are calling on the City and State to make an annual investment beginning in the FY 2020 budget to provide foster youth with the supports they need to be successful adults.
Providing foster youth access to long-term coaching and robust academic, career development, and independent living supports is a proven strategy for increasing graduation rates and post-secondary enrollment, preventing system involvement, and helping youth get on a pathway to becoming self-sufficient, successful adults. At two NY foster care agencies that have already implemented similar comprehensive programs, nearly 90% of participants who are 21 years old have a high school diploma or equivalency, significantly higher than that of the population who cannot access these supports. However, this coaching model currently only reaches 12% of NYC foster youth.
If we secure $50 million in funding for these vital programs in 2019, New York will become the first in the nation to offer long-term, comprehensive support for foster youth from middle school through age 26, transforming the lives of thousands of young people for generations to come. If we fail to make these changes now, we are not only jeopardizing the future of these kids, but also our potential to make New York the fairest and most inclusive city in America.