The youth involved in the foster care system are one of the most vulnerable populations in our society. Of the more than 500,000 children in foster care, 30 to 40% are also in special education. But this number does not capture all youth with disabilities in the foster care system. One study estimated that between 20 to 60% of young children entering foster care have a developmental disability or delay.
Building upon the NCWD/Youth organizing framework, Guideposts for Success, which details what research says all youth, including youth with disabilities, need to successfully transition to adulthood, this publication applies the Guideposts to meeting the needs of youth in foster care with and without disabilities. The Guide also provides facts and statistics about youth involved in the foster care system; gives examples of states and communities that are changing policy and practices; identifies areas requiring further attention by policy makers and providers of services; and identifies resources and tools to assist cross-system collaborative efforts.