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Fostering Futures

Fostering Futures

What if every youth aging out of foster care achieved their potential?

Our Work

Young people who age out of foster care face long odds

Older youth in foster care are one of the most vulnerable populations in this country. They are less likely to reach a permanent home and may languish in the foster care system for years before aging out, which happens to nearly 19,000 young people every year.

Suddenly, these youth are expected to make it on their own as independent adults. Some leave foster care and become homeless on day one. Many never graduate from high school. Most are underemployed, and even later, at age 26, they earn less than half what their peers do, on average.

This is unacceptable, and we can change it. Everything is possible when someone cares.



graduate high school by 19

less than


earn a college degree by 25



are employed at 26

Introducing Fostering Futures

We believe high school graduation, living wage employment, a place to live, and a healthy, thriving adulthood are within reach of every youth aging out of foster care, and we know that a caring, consistent adult can make all the difference.

We also know that young adults need support as they navigate independence. Youth who age out of foster care without permanency are no exception. They need someone by their side to offer guidance, help them work through challenges, and celebrate their successes. No one should have to figure it all out on their own.

To help every young person achieve their potential, the National CASA/GAL Association is launching Fostering Futures, a multi-year initiative to strengthen our service to the older youth we already serve, expand our services to more youth preparing to age out of foster care, and ensure that foster care alumni have the support they need to thrive as adults.


Our network of programs and volunteers serves approximately a third of older youth in foster care

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What if?

With Fostering Futures, we are asking and answering some bold questions:


National CASA/GAL is building on our network’s long history working with older youth in foster care to develop new enhanced, evidence-based volunteer frameworks—including a new mentoring role—to help young people get better outcomes and thrive in adulthood.

Under Fostering Futures, CASA/GAL volunteers and mentors will receive specialized training focused on enabling educational success, preparing youth for adulthood, increasing access to living wage employment and promoting health—including improving access to mental health services, as well as preventing substance use disorders and unintended pregnancy.

Mentors will receive the same rigorous training but will not be court-appointed. Instead, they will engage with the youth in the community, advise them on difficult decisions, open doors and provide a sense of belonging—even after the youth’s dependency court case closes.


National CASA/GAL will engage former foster youth and innovative leaders from within our own network. We will identify peer organizations that are getting promising results and explore whether and how to cooperatively incorporate their practices into our model. We will also test promising practices developed by CASA and GAL programs and evaluate which interventions to scale.

National CASA/GAL will pilot the new framework in high-need urban areas before rolling out Fostering Futures to our nationwide network of programs.

We will also recruit new volunteers who are passionate about serving older youth and whose demographic characteristics match those of the youth we serve.

This is a bold initiative, and it requires radical optimism, groundbreaking conversations and innovative partnerships.

Together, we can transform the future for an entire generation of youth in foster care.


Join Us

Join Us

National CASA/GAL is seeking investors, thought leaders and corporate partners who share our vision and will work alongside us to make sure every young person transitioning from foster care to adulthood has the support they need to reach their full potential and thrive in adulthood.