Homeless in Foster Care: What Would Really Keep Foster Youth from Sleeping in Offices
Today on The Imprint Weekly Podcast we feature a great conversation that Fostering Media Connections hosted last month called “Homeless in Foster Care: What Would Really Keep Foster Youth from Sleeping in Offices.”
As the title suggests, the motivation for this discussion was the reality that youth living in foster care are sleeping in offices, sometimes in hotels or even in rare cases cars, with systems struggling to find more appropriate shelter for them…and all of these kids had been removed from their home at one point or another due to safety concerns, which makes leaving them in such an unstable position is truly failure in its most clear form.
This has gotten attention of late because several states saw the number of youth in this situation increase during the last year or so, likely in part to the pandemic and its impact on the child welfare workforce and more generally on foster care capacity.
But this is not by any means a new problem in child welfare. This conversation was meant to discuss not the emergency solutions for it, but rather the upstream issues with how child welfare systems proceed that end up leaving youth open to these circumstances.
This conversation includes Molly Tierney of Accenture, who worked in child welfare leadership in Illinois and in Baltimore; BJ Walker, former director of the state child welfare systems in Georgia and Illinois, and Gary Ivory, the President of Youth Advocate Programs, which for decades has been focused on serving as a community alternative to things incarceration and foster care.