Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - December 17, 2018 


Do GOP lawmakers have the votes to avoid a government shutdown? Also on the Monday rundown: groups laud Zinke’s departure, but worry about who’s next. Plus, a call for review of Veteran’s Administration dog research.

Daily Newscasts

Wyoming Foster Youths Face Challenges in Transitioning to Adulthood

Compared with their peers, youths in foster care are more likely to experience early pregnancy, homelessness and incarceration. (Beth Rankin/Wikimedia Commons)
Compared with their peers, youths in foster care are more likely to experience early pregnancy, homelessness and incarceration. (Beth Rankin/Wikimedia Commons)
November 15, 2018

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Young people in foster care are falling behind their peers and are on track to face higher levels of joblessness and homelessness as adults, according to a new report from The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Leslie Gross, director of the Casey Foundation’s Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, says in addition to the trauma of abuse or neglect that resulted in being removed from their homes and placed in foster care, experiences while in foster care, including frequent moves, can lead to worse outcomes for youths.

"We really need better policies that promote permanency,” she stresses. “We need to ensure that young people are growing up in families, and this really means supporting biological families so that young people can stay at home – and, if they have to be in care, policies that support young people as well as foster families who are willing to care for older youths."

Gross says all young people – regardless of race, ethnicity or ZIP code – deserve the relationships, resources and opportunities to ensure their well-being and success.

She notes that African-American youth in Wyoming are twice as likely to be in foster care as their white counterparts, and are more likely to transition out of care without a permanent family.

Gross adds that as young people leave the system and set out on their own, they still need supportive adults they can rely on to help them get on a path to financial and emotional stability.

"It's just really challenging to turn 18 – or even 21, in some places – and all of a sudden be left with nobody to rely on,” she states. “Nobody to support you in those things like finishing high school or applying to college, not having a job or necessarily a place to live. So it kind of is that feeling of falling off a cliff."

Wyoming's foster care population is on par with peers when it comes to graduating from high school or getting a GED, but is falling behind when it comes to securing employment and stable housing.

Wyoming currently invests above the national average in vocational training for foster youths.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - WY