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Providing effective transitional services for recently emancipated foster youth in California has become a pressing issue for foster youth advocates and policy makers. While less than 0.3% of the state's population is comprised of foster youth in any given year, 40% living in homeless shelters and 35% of those receiving public assistance are former foster youth. Most significant is the fact that former foster youth are "in-risk" when transitioning into adulthood and lack the financial and emotional support that the average youth receives.
Thus there is a need to empower foster youth as they transition to adulthood via a seamless safety net of services that address the multitude of challenges they face after aging-out of the foster care system at age 18. The Guardian Scholars Program addresses former foster youths' academic performance and achievement by providing a vast array of campus services and resources to aid students as they pursue a baccalaureate or graduate degree.
Given the low rate of self-sufficiency for foster youth after being emancipated, it is no surprise that less than 3% go on to attend college. Yet, pursuing a postsecondary education is a crucial factor to the success of former foster youth - psychologically, financially, and professionally.