On Your Own without a Net: The Transition to Adulthood for Vulnerable Populations

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In the decade after high school, young people continue to rely on their families in many ways - sometimes for financial support, sometimes for help with childcare, and sometimes for continued shelter. But what about those young people who confront special difficulties during this period, many of whom can't count on help from their families? On Your Own Without a Net documents the special challenges facing seven vulnerable populations during the transition to adulthood: former foster-care youth, youth formerly involved in the juvenile justice system, youth in the criminal justice system, runaway and homeless youth, former special-education students, young people in the mental health system, and youth with physical disabilities. During adolescence, government programs have been a major part of their lives, yet eligibility for most programs typically ends between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one. This volume shows the unfortunate repercussions of this termination of support and points out the issues that must be addressed to improve these young people's chances of becoming successful adults.