Children in foster care have the odds stacked against them as they transition into adulthood. Lacking the financial and moral support that most Canadian children take for granted, they struggle to cope with the challenges of adult life. As a result, children in foster care are far less likely to graduate from high school than the average Canadian and have a much greater likelihood of suffering from mental health problems. Chronic unemployment, unplanned parenthood, homelessness, and incarceration are just some of the problems they encounter, with significant social and economic costs as a result.
Child welfare agencies throughout the country work hard to ensure that the children’s basic needs are met while they are living in the care of the state. However, these agencies lack the resources necessary to help these children succeed as they “age out” of care. This briefing argues that there is both a humanitarian and a compelling economic case for action.