The term 'aging out' is often used to refer to children within the state foster care system who are still in the system upon reaching the age of eighteen, twenty-one or have graduated from high school. These children have not found permanency with an adoptive family or reunification with their birth family before aging out. The age varies from state to state. Some states have extended services beyond the age of eighteen due to so many children not being ready to be out on their own at such a young age. In many states it is acceptable for foster parents to choose to continue parenting their foster children beyond the age of aging out, if the foster children decide to remain in their home. Unfortunately some foster children are just ready to be done with the foster system and choose to move out. This leads to many former foster children being homeless.
It is important for foster teens to recognize the amount of services that are available to them. Some of the following agencies or individuals are currently working to help children who are aging out of the foster care system. These include: