Many Minnesota foster youth don’t know what it’s like to live in a family home.
- According to the US Department of Health and Human Services state by state data on child welfare for 2009, Minnesota has the second highest percent in the country of residential treatment and group home placements. Also of Minnesota children 12 or younger who entered foster care, 17 % were placed in a group home or residential treatment center.
- A recent report by First Star and Children’s Advocacy Institute aptly reminds us how difficult it can be for children who grow up in group homes or institutions to lead normal adult lives. The report states that “An estimated 40% of foster children fourteen and older live in group homes or other institutionalized settings where their caretakers are often poorly paid shift workers. Such a setting leaves these young people — who have been dropped into a world full of unknowns — without the connections, familiarity and supports that other children take for granted. Furthermore, and particularly for children who live their teen years in group homes, these youth do not benefit from normal growing-up experiences. As one report notes, “[m]any youth in group care never see an adult pay bills, fill out income tax forms, arrange for car insurance, or undertake the dozens of other mundane tasks required to run a household.”– The Fleecing of Foster Children: How We Confiscate Their Assets and Undermine Their Financial Security, 2011.