Foster Care in Reno, Nevada: Does Aging-Out of Foster Care Increase the Presence of Risk Factors and Criminality?
AuthorLeClaire, Matthew Morris
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Aging-out of foster care is a difficult experience to endure. Independent living facilities and assistance programs do exist, but most assistance ends when a participant turns 21 years old. This thesis examines the presence of risk factors in aged-out participants' lives. Using a Blackian Analysis as the theoretical framework, aged-out young adults are placed in models where law is present at a greater level in their lives. With no stable foundation and support from their families, most participants succumb to risk factors. Compared with state and national averages on risk factors (e.g. homelessness, alcoholism, substance abuse, etc.), aged-out foster care participants are a vulnerable sub-group. Averages show they are more likely to be homeless, drink alcohol, and experiment with drugs. Overall, the results of this study suggest that despite aged-out foster care participants being a small sub-group, they are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system.