Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Youth "aging out" of foster care

CitySquare works with youth who age out of the foster care system here in North Texas.  As a matter of fact, we engage young people from the 19-county, northeast Texas Child Protective Services region.  In Dallas County, approximately 150 of these special youth age out each year.  Our Transition Resource Action Center (TRAC) provides services to about 900 youth annually.  TRAC's headquarters are housed in a full-service, one-stop shop located on Live Oak in a building provided to us by the Meadows Foundation, our great partners in this special work. We also operate an office in Tarrant County in Fort Worth. 

The population presents us with real challenges.  The average young person we serve has experienced 9 foster care placements before turning 18.  Think about about that reality for a moment. 

Evy Kay Washburne, TRAC Director, provided the following results of a resent data evaluation of the young people who walk through our doors seeking help and hope.

In general. . .
  • 30.4% have a history of truancy
  • 30.8% have been in special education/resource classes while in school
  • 26.2 have been incarcerated or adjudicated
  • 59.9% have been diagnosed with  mental illness
  • 17.5% have developmental disabilities
More specifically. . .
  • 10.5% arrive pregnant
  • 17.4% have children
  • 40.4% have tested for HIV/STI
  • 58.7% have been physically abused
  • 35.4% have been sexually abused
  • 68.3 have been verbally/emotionally abused
  • 85.2% have been neglected
  • 67.3% have been on psychotropic medications
  • 21.6% are currently on psychotropic medications
  • 9.% have seriously injured another person
  • 15.4% have tried to hurt themselves or commit suicide
  • 12.3% homeless at program entry
  • 22.4% were housed temporarily, in substandard or eviction pending at program entry
  • 47.8% have experienced homelessness
  • 69.5% unemployed at program entry
  • 21.3% temporary, part time or seasonal employment at program entry
Regarding income. . .
  • 77.5% gross monthly income $0-$500
  • 21% gross monthly income $501-$1,000
  • 1.5% gross monthly income $1,001-$1,500
Regarding education. . .
  • 53.9% HS diploma or GED at program entry
  • 8.9% last grade completed 12th
  • 25.4% last grade completed 11th


Anonymous said...

Foster care doesn't seem to be working. Perhaps people do it for the money.

Larry James said...

Money is a motive for certain; and yes, it's not working very well for hundreds of children in Texas, especially those from troubled backgrounds like those with whom we work. Were it not for initiatives like CitySquare's TRAC effort, the options would be almost non-existent for these youth.

Anonymous said...

Awesome work.

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