Brief

Now, neuroscience reveals that the brain experiences of major development during adolescence that is comparable to early childhood. Young people in foster care often lack the supports needed to become healthy, connected and productive adults. Positive youth development services, opportunities and supports are essential in promoting healthy brain and social development in adolescence. 

January 1, 2011

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    Background on neuroscience research that points to the importance of a major developmental period during adolescence.

  2. 2

    Recommendations for the foster care system on how to use this adolescent developmental stage to better prepare foster children for adulthood.

  3. 3

    Why focusing on brain development can lead to resolving other issues in foster youth and better prepare them for life after the system.

  4. 4

    The elements of brain development that are overlooked by many foster care systems, and what the consequences of ignoring them are.

Key Takeaway

Adolescence and brain development

Adolescence is a period of “use it or lose it” in brain development. Foster care systems must learn how to "use it" if they are going to be successful in preparing children for adult life.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations