Real Experiences in Building Authentic Supports

May 2024

In 2021, 58 percent of Black youth and 57 percent of Hispanic and Latino youth in foster care aged 16 years or older exited care without legal permanence.

When youth exit the foster care system without legal permanence or meaningful connections, they are more likely to experience high levels of instability in housing, education, wellness, and employment. They are also more likely to experience substance use and become involved with the legal system.  

Youth need loving, dependable adult relationships to nurture their healthy development. Showing up matters.

Showing up matters. Authentic relationships have lifelong impacts.

Whether relationships are long term or short term, research shows that authentic connections have positive lifelong impacts on young people's well-being, resilience, and identity development.

Child welfare professionals are vital in supporting youth in building and maintaining meaningful connections and supports. Explore examples of experiences from across the nation from youth, foster parents, caseworkers, and others involved in the child welfare system. The Reflections: Stories of Foster Care collection shares experiences about building lifelong connections and supports and highlights the opportunities they unlocked for young people.