The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research released preliminary results of the online survey, “The Experiences of Foster Youth During COVID19” that was conducted in April 2020. Responses from over 200 young people spanning 32 states and the District of Columbia highlighted the economic and social needs of a vulnerable population during the pandemic included the following findings:

  • 7 percent of young people reported that they were couch-surfing or homeless as a result of COVID19
  • 55 percent of young people reported being food insecure as a result of COVID19
  • 48 percent of young people reported COVID19 impacted their employment negatively including being laid off or having hours cut
  • 32 percent of young people reported having to apply for public assistance, including 14 percent applying for unemployment as a result of COVID19
  • 31 percent of young people reported they lost access to academic or post secondary educational supports as a result of COVID19
  • 52 percent of young reported COVID19 impacted their health or mental health care negatively
  • 14 percent of young people currently in care reported that their caseworker has not done a good job with communicating with them during the pandemic

These findings highlight the challenges that current and former foster youth are experiencing as a result of COVID19 and the following recommendations were offered:

  1. “Ensure that eligible youth are housed and connected to foster care services, including instituting a moratorium on discharging youth from care, suspending school and work requirements for extended care, and expediting processes for youth to re-enter care.
  2. Professionals and other caring adults should check in on youth in foster care and young adults who have recently exited foster care as frequently as possible during this time, providing emotional support and reliable information.
  3. Distribute concrete resources directly to youth to alleviate financial or interpersonal stressors, including gift cards, bags of groceries, laptops, or WiFi hotspots.”

To review the preliminary fact sheet of the survey, click here. A more thorough report should be released in the coming weeks, according to the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research.


New Foster Youth Survey: The Foster Care Research Group at the University of San Francisco wants to learn about the impact that COVID-19 may be having on young adults (ages 18-24) who have been in foster care. This confidential survey will take about 20 minutes and will be used to raise awareness and inform next steps about how to support former / current foster youth during COVID-19. To access the survey, click here.