Perspectives of Current and Former Foster Youth During COVID-19

The Foster Care Research Group at the University of San Francisco released preliminary results of the “Perspectives of Current and Former Foster Youth During COVID-19” that was conducted in May and June 2020. Responses included 127 young adults across the country between the ages of 18-26 assessing the needs, concerns, and strengths before, during, and in the year following the shelter in place (SIP).

The young adults experiences included that 13% had tested positive for COVID-19 and that 25% knew someone who tested positive for COVID-19. One participant stated that “Many people I know have tested positive. I also know people who have passed.” In regards to financial stability, participants reported the following:

  • 34% were unemployed due to COVID-19
  • 30% were employed, but had concerns about changes due to COVID-19
  • 36% had a living situation change due to COVID-19
  • 46% had moderate or extreme concern about their financial wellbeing before COVID-19
  • 61% had moderate or extreme concern about their financial wellbeing during COVID-19
  • 60% were concern for the year following SIP, due to COVID-19

The report highlighted financial, social, relational, and psychological resources that young adult sought including help finding jobs, rent/utility assistance, support groups, telehealth/therapy, and more. “I cannot stress this enough with therapy at the forefront of resources needed,” stated one participant. As young adults with foster care involvement report feeling triggered, one participant stated that “being in the foster care system has made it plausible to be in quarantine,” when asked if the pandemic or shelter-in-place had an impact on them.

Another young adult responded that:

“I think that everyone who has been in foster care has had a sense of distance for however long they were in foster care and during this time of COVID-19 it might hit them as hard as it did when they were in foster care. Also if they are in foster care and they are unable to have their visits and meetings with family they will most likely feel even more excluded.”

To review the preliminary report, click here.

 

About the Author:

John Sciamanna is CWLA's Vice President of Public Policy.

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