A first-of-its kind study found young adults transitioning out of foster care in Ohio are more likely to face difficulties than their peers across the nation.
The national study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation examined outcomes for young people in the foster care system. In Ohio, outcomes by age 21 lag behind national averages when it comes to employment and graduation rates.
“Often times young people in foster care, they face disruption by multiple moves, academic challenges and that lack of connection to a permanent family really can cause them to struggle when they become adults,” says Brandi Slaughter of the advocacy group Voices For Ohio’s Children.
She says that of all states in the country, Ohio invests the least money to ensure the welfare of children in the foster care system.
“We have a long way to go in Ohio to make sure that the state is providing resources at the local community so that they can do their job in protecting our young people, but ultimately finding forever families for our young people,” Slaughter says.
The report also shows racial disparities in foster care: African Americans make up 14 percent of Ohio's population, but 36 percent of the foster population.