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Aging Out of Foster Care: Questions and Answers

foster“Aging out” refers to what happens when young adults in foster care reach a certain age (age 18 in most states) and are no longer eligible for support from the foster care system. Without foster care funding, you may lose your place to live, health care coverage, connections to supportive adults and may have many conerns and questions about what you are supposed to do on your own.

This section includes questions and answers about common concerns young adults have about aging out of the foster care system to help support you as you start a new life outside of the system!

You may also want to check out Don't Leave Foster Care Without These 21 Things in the On Our Own resource group for more information on what you can do to prepare for life after foster care.

Tip Sheet Navigation:

Will I be leaving foster care when I turn 18?

Is there anyone who can help me get ready to leave foster care?

Do I need special documents to live as an adult?

Sometimes I'm happy. Sometimes I'm scared. Why are my feelings all mixed up about leaving foster care?

I don't have many friends. Now that I'm not going to be in school and in a foster family, who will I talk to?

What is an Independent Living Program?

Where will I live when I leave foster care?

What is all this legal stuff about renting an apartment?

Do they give me any money when I leave foster care?

How much money will it take for me to live on my own?

What do I do it I have nowhere to live after I leave foster care?

What should I do about transportation?

What happens when I apply for a job?

Any other tips about filling out a job application?

What can I do so I'm not so nervous during my interview?

By the time I finish high school, I will have 12 years of school. Why do I need more?

Who can help me with college applications and financial aid?

I'm not ready for college. I may never be. Are there other alternatives?