Care leavers struggle to pursue higher education – Survey

While 80% of young people in Japan raised in foster care graduate from junior or senior high school, just over 10% graduate from higher education, including university, junior college and vocational schools, reports Mainichi Japan.

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare announced these findings on 30 April as part of its research on care leavers – people who received social care in facilities including orphanages and foster homes due to child abuse and other reasons. This is the first time the health ministry has looked into the specific situation people were in after leaving foster care, and it has become clear such people find it hard to make a living, let alone obtain educational opportunities.

The survey was conducted on 26,690 people who were admitted to facilities such as orphanages after graduating from junior high school, or were released from foster parent placement measures between April 2015 and March 2020, and aged at least 15 as of November 2020. The health ministry received answers from 14.4%, or 2,980 of them. Ninety percent of the respondents were aged between 18 and 24. Based on the Child Welfare Act, children can only live in orphanages or foster homes up to the age of 18 in principle. Although a system exists to extend this period until the end of the fiscal year when the individual is aged 22 at most, the majority have to become independent and leave their orphanage or foster home upon graduating from high school.
Full report on The Mainichi site