Post-foster care self-reliance support measures for youths

Date 2022-09-15 Writer seoulsolution

The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) announced reinforced post-foster care self-reliance support measures for youths starting their adult life on their own at a relatively early age.

Foster care refers to a system in which a minor has been placed into a ward, group home (e.g. residential child care community, treatment center) or private home of a state-certified caregiver (i.e. foster parent, foster family).

The city is aiming to support youths who are emancipating from foster care after turning 18 (extended foster care available up to age 24) to start their adult life. About 300 youths leave foster care every year in Seoul alone, and there are currently 1,541 youths preparing to be self-reliant.

The city had previously announced its post-foster care self-reliance support measures last September, and is reinforcing the support measures this time by supplementing its initial focus on supporting the financial independence of youths with an additional focus on psychological and emotional support to assist their self-reliance.

This secondary approach reflects the collected voices of academic experts, social workers, and youths leaving foster care themselves who are of the opinion that financial support is not enough to assist with self-reliance without supplementary psychological and emotional support as seen from the recent cases serving as examples.

Therefore, the city is providing post-foster care self-reliance support for youths to create strong human connections with one or more people so that they do not feel alone and empower them through social connections with their community and neighbors.

The city will conduct comprehensive psychological assessments on youths before leaving foster care and offer assistance programs such as mentoring by experienced youths who have found self-reliance as well as financial support for club activities.

Moreover, the city plans to establish a 24/7 hotline and a one-stop support center by December for youths out of foster care to receive assistance for self-reliance at any time and in person.

The city will also reinforce its initial measure of financial assistance starting next year, raising the base grant to KRW 15 million and allowance funds to KRW 40 thousand. Also, the city will continue to secure additional SH public housing apartment units to assist their life as single-person households.

Seoul is expecting that its newly reinforced post-foster care self-reliance support measures will provide much-needed support for youths leaving foster care to assist their preparations for starting their adult life on their own.