Reports

The Fleecing of Foster Children: How We Confiscate Their Assets and Undermine Their Financial Security

The Children’s Advocacy Institute, First Star

About 30,000 of the nation’s foster children age out of the system each year, most often at age 18. They are expected to become independent, self-sufficient and contributing members of society with little or no assistance from others.

According to this report, the foster care system creates huge problems that make the expectations unrealistic. Only about 3 percent of children in foster care ever earn four-year degrees, and by age 24, less than half of foster care “alumni” are employed.

Children in foster care are more likely to be victim to identity theft, and many do not even discover that they had been targeted until they leave foster care and are applying for a student loan, apartment, or car and discover their credit has been destroyed.

Many children in the foster care system quality for Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Benefits Program (OASDI) and/or the Supplemental Security Income for Aged, Blind and Disabled (SSI) program, but can’t claim the benefits, according to this report.

Underage beneficiaries are required to have an adult representative payee, which often can’t be provided for a foster child, so the benefits are confiscated.

Even those who do get benefits are given odd restrictions. For example, they are not allowed to accumulate resources that exceed $2,000, so in essence they are being taught not to save money. The $2,000 figure was put in place in 1989 and has not been adjusted since for inflation.

One or more of these situations intertwined can result in a lifetime of poverty. Another problem is the state and county social services budgets have been reduced in recent years, and face more cuts as a result of the struggling economy.

According to the organizations authoring the report, the states should take more responsibility for foster children. “States should be required to check into youth’s credit records and repair when necessary.”

The report recommends passage of the Foster Children Self-Support Act, which would safeguard some of foster children’s Social Security benefits, creating a basic safety net for when they age out of foster care.

“Just as parents work hard to raise children who will become self-sufficient, we should work hard to prepare foster youth to have the same capabilities.”

Free. 44 pages. http://www.caichildlaw.org/Misc/Fleecing_Report_Final_HR.pdf

 

Comments

Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.

DONORS & DONOR TRANSPARENCY

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments

Categories

Archives

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top