Mental State: Life after aging out of the foster care system

CLEVELAND – A group of former foster care youths in Cleveland, Ohio share their stories about aging out of the system and finding themselves lost in the real world with no life experience or support systems to guide them.

They describe the challenging situations they faced in their childhood home life, and their traumatic paths to foster care. They have experienced depression, substance abuse, suicidal tendencies and homelessness – but, thankfully, their strength, courage and resilience has lead them on the path to healing.

According to the National Foster Youth Institute, every year 23,000 children age out of the U.S. foster system, of which the group says roughly 20% will immediately become homeless.