Ethan spent a total of 13 years in foster care, moving in and out of over 40 homes.
Ethan said, “With no family to help me, my ‘graduation plan’ was to rob convenience stores until I was put in prison.” Ethan told us that prison’s regular meals, a guaranteed bed at night, and a predictable routine sounded better than becoming homeless.
By age 26, more than half of children in foster care have been incarcerated.
Ethan’s story took a different turn. He was unexpectedly adopted before turning 18. With support from his family, he enlisted in the United States Army. Today, Ethan is an officer inspiring incoming soldiers to be the best they can be.
An estimated 22,000 teens age out of foster care each year. We are committed to ending this epidemic and ensuring that every child finds a safe and loving home. Many reforms work together toward this end including finding and placing children with relatives when they enter foster care, ensuring swift case resolution, implementing permanency programs for teens most at risk, and providing children with attorneys to enforce their rights.