“Aging out is not safe. Aging out leaves kids with sort of a lifetime of potential dire outcomes and loneliness,” says Susan Grundberg, executive director and CEO of You Gotta Believe (YGB), a New York City nonprofit organization that focuses on finding permanent families for young adults, teens and preteens in foster care.
The organization understands the important role permanent relationships can play when these young adults age out of care and face issues like homelessness and unemployment. Every year, as many as 25,000 of the 400,000 young people in foster care will age out, generally at age 18. According to YGB, more than 1,000 will age out of care in the New York City metro area this year alone.
Young adults gather monthly for the organization’s Nobody Ages Out meeting, where participants support each other, discuss strategies for addressing challenges in care and problem-solve. This peer network for youth in care provides a central space for giving and receiving love — while the organization advocates for the end of aging out and the focus on permanency.