CCC Testimony: Oversight: Youth Aging Out of Foster Care – Int. 0187-2014, Int. 0104-2014, Int. 0137-2014
Published June 2014
CCC testified at the General Welfare Committee’s Oversight hearing on youth aging out of foster care on June 16, 2014. This hearing focused on the needs of youth in foster care and on three proposed local laws that would require the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) to report to the City Council on a variety of key indicators related to outcomes for youth in foster care.
In New York City, approximately 1,000 youth ages 18-21 age out of the system each year. Unfortunately, both nationally and in New York City, outcomes for youth who age out of foster care too often include homelessness, reliance on public assistance, school failure, and jail sentences.
CCC’s testimony expressed appreciation for the City Council and Public Advocate’s interest in providing more oversight with regard to the outcomes for youth aging out of foster care, and our support for requiring ACS to submit data regularly to the City Council and the Public Advocate, as well as the public. At the same time, we expressed concern that the proposed reporting requirements will be overly burdensome for ACS and recommended that further consideration be given to the indicators and format that would be required.
CCC also made recommendations to improve outcomes for youth in foster care including:
- Strengthening preventive services so youth do not come into foster care.
- Ensuring more youth in foster care leave care to families and do not age out.
- Doing a much better job at ensuring educational stability for children and youth entering foster care and changing placements while in foster care.
- Preventing homelessness by creating housing programs that allow for youth to have roommates and increasing the amount of housing subsidy from $300 to $600 and extending it from age 21 to age 24.
- Providing free room and board, tuition and college supports for foster youth attending college.
- Ensuring foster youth have access to other youth programs including after-school programs and Summer Youth Employment.