foster care, Stark-Moynihan, foster children's rights, homeless, juvenile, parens patriae, adoption


The uniformity by which foster children are expelled from their foster homes upon reaching the age of maturity has dire consequences for them and society. With alarming frequency, such children are left homeless and often turn to drugs and prostitution as a means of getting by. This Note discusses the parameters of foster care rights by analyzing the policies and constitutional rights underlying the many current foster care laws. It then proceeds to highlight the ineffectiveness of the current rigid system of foster care laws and proposes a solution that adequately addresses the plight of such children. Ultimately, the Note concludes by suggesting that Federal legislation be enacted mandating States to raise the age level of foster care from eighteen to twenty-one and set up programs to teach vocation skills to help its attendees transition into a responsible and meaningful life. The Note reasons that in addition to the skills that will be learned through such programs, the flexible three year additional period would allow experts to monitor and evaluate the progress of individuals and determine at what point they should be released.

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