Strategic Brief by Frameworks Institute

Building public support for transition age foster youth is a critical part of making sure they have what they need to become healthy, happy, successful adults.

But the American public is unfamiliar with the unique experiences of these young people. This is due in large part to its lack of understanding of the foster care system—a system that’s generally a “black box” to those who haven’t had direct experience with it.

Once people learn who transition age foster youth are, they are generally sympathetic, but they still struggle to think about ways to support them. We are fortunate to have two narratives to improve understanding and build support for addressing the needs of transition age foster youth. The first narrative, “Advancing Wellbeing,” shows people how effective supports aid the healthy biological, psychological, and emotional development of transition age foster youth. The second narrative, “Expanding Opportunities,” helps people understand the racial and economic factors that create disparities leading to foster care involvement, the disparities perpetuated by that system, and the ways in which supports for transition age foster youth can address those inequities.

This strategic brief outlines how we can do this together by:

  • Showing the most effective ways to change perceptions and build support for reform
  • Giving examples of what this looks like in practice
  • Reviewing the research that underlies each recommendation.