TRANSITIONAL YOUTH INITIATIVE
At any given moment in time, there are roughly 430,000 children in foster care--but advocating for a child's best interests while they are in foster care is just half the battle. Thousands of children age out of foster care each year without a permanent home. These children need the support of caring advocates who will fight for their happiness and success while they are independent. At CASA of CGS, we are dedicated to paving the path for youth aging out of foster care, so they are prepared and self-sufficient for independent living throughout adulthood.
Foster youth "age out" of the system each year
Foster youth are unemployed age 21
Foster youth graduate high school by age 19
Foster youth experienced homelessness by age 21
Transitional youth are young adults between the ages of 16-24 who are in transition from state custody or foster care environments and are at-risk. Once a youth in foster care turns 18, they "age out" of the system, and are often left to fend for themselves without any outside help or support.
At such a young age, and with little to no assistance, guidance, resources, or emotional support, this transitional period in a youth's life can be incredibly stressful and even life-changing. Outcomes for transitional youth are daunting, with heightened risk of experiences such as homelessness, unemployment, incarceration, substance abuse, and more.
*Data collected from The Children's Bureau's National Youth in Transition Database 2019 report
Foster youth in NJ "age out" of the system each year
Foster youth (age 21) were incarcerated within the past 2 years
Foster youth earn a Bachelor's degree
Foster youth (age 21) experienced substance abuse issues within the past 2 years
CASA of CGS volunteer advocates connect the youth we serve to resources in our community that will serve their best interests. In order to create a pathway for success, independence, and self-sufficiency in adulthood, CASA of CGS works with two key partner organizations dedicated to mentoring transitional youth throughout high school and college: First Star South Jersey Collaborative and the Give Something Back Foundation.