School of Communication and the Arts


Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design (MFA)


Joseph Wright


foster, youth, aging out, next generation


Art and Design


The issue of foster children aging out of care and services has been an issue for quite some time. There are many concerns related to their care and needs. While in the foster care system, services and programs are typically tailored to help support these children and get them to 18 years old. College is often available and paid for to help those aging out of foster care, but what happens to those who do not take that path? College can be stressful and challenging for students with a strong support system. Those aging out of foster care often have limited support systems. These individuals encounter many challenges in their life, and it impacts them personally as well as economically. Acknowledgment of the needs of individuals aging out of foster care and entering the adult world is a tremendous issue that must be addressed. This paper aims to explore the needs of these individuals by looking at current programs implemented to help with entering the world. Additionally, exploring new programs to help give nearing and former aging out foster children a better opportunity to learn skills that can aid them personally and professionally in the real world. By understanding the foster care system’s inner workings, the research aims to elicit an understanding of the issues that have been dealt with and showcase emerging issues that threaten the futures of current foster children. There have been increasing numbers of incarcerated foster children, becoming addicts, and unemployed over the years due to a lack of programs to help them before, during, and after they age out. New strategies and programs must be implemented to prepare them for this life adjustment. Ultimately, this will allow them to gain skills, confidence, support, and the tools to help them build a successful future for themselves.