Colorado Foster Care

Foster care youth aging out of the foster care system in Colorado face a multitude of challenges, including higher rates of homelessness, limited education, unemployment, involvement in the criminal justice system, early parenthood, mental health issues, a lack of support networks, limited healthcare access, substance abuse risk, and financial instability. This is a significant public policy challenge. The good news, it can be solved. Learn more about the issue in the resources and events below.

Colorado Foster Care Study Synopsis

John Farnam“This is the first study attempting to derive the individual and social costs borne by a cohort of Colorado’s foster youth,” said CSI Child Welfare Fellow John Farnam. “The numbers tell a tragic story that policy makers must address.”

The recent average of 213 foster youth who age out of Colorado’s foster system per year incur lifetime costs range between $309,614 and $343,453 per person, a total cost of $66 million – $73 million. “Coloradans are paying for these costs on the back end of a foster care intervention that do not lead to permanency,” continued Farnam. “The study findings suggest and I believe, public policies that address the permanency and success at the front end would not only be life changing for these youth but also a prudent budget move.”

— John Farnam, Common Sense Institute Morgridge Child Welfare Fellow

Read the CSI Foster Care study and synopsis


“Rebecoming Me” Film 

PBS12, Better Together Productions, and the Morgridge Family Foundation had a film screening of “Rebecoming Me,” a deeply personal invitation into the lives of five extraordinary adults who have navigated parts of their childhood within the foster care system, on January 18, 2024. The film is presented in partnership with the Common Sense Institute and Cobbled Streets.

After the film, there was a discussion with a panel of experts including John Farnam of Morgridge Family Foundation, Shari Shink of Cobbled Streets, Ann Ayers of Raise the Future and other experts on the foster system.