This study explores the stories and support systems of 29 individuals who recently exited foster care. Readers will learn how these participants feel about family, what their adult relationships look like and what supports they want, and need, as they navigate life after foster care.       

April 23, 2008

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    The relational networks of foster care alumni.

  2. 2

    Whether or not these networks provide lifelong support.

  3. 3

    The meaning of ambiguous loss.

  4. 4

    What missing relationships these young adults desire most.

Key Takeaway

For foster care youth, the foundation of a typical American childhood — a stable, nuclear family — is missing

Few foster care alumni described family settings that offered unquestionable permanence, belonging and a mutually deep connection. Their feedback is painfully clear: They did not have, and still deeply need, emotional support and a strong personal connection.  

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations