A recent study conducted by the U.S. Health and Human Services shows that youth aging out of foster care have very low levels of employment and earnings. As a result, many of these foster program youth will end up being homeless. It is estimated that there are currently 1 million homeless and displaced youth in America. Research conducted by the Boston University of Public Health found that a majority of homeless youth still have access to social media and technology.
One vital step we can take towards reducing the impact of aging out of foster care is to help them develop job skills, career resources and, most importantly, the mentoring required to assist them to find employment before they age out of the system. Doing so will greatly improve their both their employment and economic opportunity outcomes.
Ideally, this would be accomplished through 1:1 mentoring, but there are also lots of fantastic youth development resources available online, including on LinkedIn. While primarily designed for the wider youth demographic, these resources are especially relevant for youth currently in the foster care system.
LinkedIn has put together an impressive set of resources for youth--both in and out of the foster system--who are preparing to enter the workforce. Created as part of the LinkedIn for Good initiative, this set of social impact resources offers everything from tips on how to create a professional profile, to job seeker tips, best practices on how to network, finding a mentor, along with a huge catalog of online courses to learn new skills.