PHILIP BAILEY BECOMES EXCLUSIVE NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON FOR THE NATIONAL FOSTER YOUTH ACTION NETWORK
“I believe when foster youth come into the system, we all have a responsibility to ensure that they have quality lives and have the same opportunities that we want for our own children. Foster youth are struggling. We can all take action to help.” – Philip Bailey
Facts about foster youth in the United States
- There are 423,000 foster children in the U.S. today. Foster care provides an important safety net for children and youth who experience neglect or abuse. These vulnerable young people need stable, loving care until they can safely reunite with their families or establish another lifelong relationship.
- Child abuse and neglect occur at about the same rate in all racial/ethnic groups. However, as a percentage, there are more children of color in the foster care system than in the general U.S. population. Children of color are more likely to stay in foster care and less likely to be adopted.
- Each year, an estimated 25,000 young people “age out” of the U.S. foster care system. Many are only 18 years old and still need support and services.
- Research shows that, when compared with their peers, young people aging out of care are, on average:
o less likely to have a high school diploma
o less likely to be pursuing higher education
o more likely to have experienced economic hardships
o more likely to become involved with the criminal justice system
Because of these facts, Music Is Unity believes that:
- To improve outcomes for foster youth, the foster care system needs reform.
- To improve the system in ways that will most benefit youth, foster youth must participate as policy advocates and leaders.
- Public support for foster youth and foster care reform is key to improving the lives of foster youth.
(Sources: National Foster Youth Action Network, National Foster Care Coalition, Jim Casey Opportunities for Youth Initiative)
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