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Support Youth Transitioning from Foster Care

Youth transitioning out of foster care into adulthood face a number of challenges.  Often unable to seek emotional or financial help from their parents, young people leave care without the preparation or support needed to successfully transition to adulthood. A key way states can support youth transitioning from foster care is to extend the services provided to young people through age 21 and continue to seek permanency for young people as long as they remain in state care. It is important that older foster youth are provided with the supports they need to be successful adults, including a permanent connection to family through reunification, guardianship or adoption or a permanent connection to a committed, caring adult. However, whenever young people have experienced foster care in adolescence, their trajectory towards adulthood has been disrupted. They often need additional supports to promote their overall well-being and help them best transition into adulthood.


California legislation, effective January 1, 2006, allows youth in foster care to petition the juvenile court to reinstate their parents’ rights. Filed by the child’s attorney, a petition will be considered if more than three years have passed since termination of parental rights (TPR), if the child is unlikely to be adopted or does not have a permanency goal of adoption, and if there is compelling evidence that it is in the child’s best interest to overturn the TPR. Birth parents must also indicate their desire to reconnect with the youth.