January 1, 2006
Most young people make the transition from adolescence to adulthood with the support of their families, communities, and schools. However, 5.4 million of our nation's most vulnerable youth -- youth aging out of foster care, teenage parents, out-of-school students and those in danger of dropping out, and youth involved in the juvenile justice system -- lack the services and social supports they need to succeed as productive workers, responsible parents, and engaged citizens. Fortunately, a host of social ills -- from violence and urban decay to persistent poverty and homelessness to lost wages and the high costs of incarceration -- can be prevented by investing in cost-effective community supports that help young people who are, or who are in danger of becoming, disconnected. The strategies outlined in the YTFG publication Safe Passage highlight some of the ways we can make more prudent and effective investments in our young people.