Without a traditional family for support, foster youth miss many life lessons and many are ill-equipped to make the transition from the foster care system to self-sufficient adulthood. The statistics:
- 25-50% become homeless;
- 40% rely on some sort of public assistance;
- 30% of foster youth will be incarcerated within one year of leaving care;
- 45% of foster youth are unemployed after leaving the child welfare system;
- Nearly 50% of females will become pregnant and 1/3 is parent to at least one child within 18 months of leaving care.
Statistics also show the educational struggles of foster youth:
- Foster youth drop out of school at twice the rate of other youth;
- Almost 50% of foster teens do not graduate from high school;
- Fewer than 10% of foster youth who graduate from high school go on to college.
The economic impact is significant as well. Nationwide, it costs $104 billion annually to address all of the issues surrounding child abuse. Barely half of all teens in the foster care system are graduating from high school. This is due in large part to the instability they experience during their critical high school years - in both their placements and the schools they attend. This is unacceptable. After exploring a variety of solutions, Orangewood Children’s Foundation has identified a residential high school as the best solution for teens in our community.