CLEVELAND -- Each year in Ohio, more than 1,000 foster children turn 18 -- and officially "age-out" of the foster care system.
Ready or not, they are on their own.
Twenty-six states have already decided to raise the age to 21.There is legislation in Columbus right now to do just that.
While politicians debate the merits and cost, each month 15 to 20 kids right here in Cuyahoga County leave the system with little more than the clothes on their back.
A 2010 University of Chicago study found nearly 40 percent of aged-out foster children had been homeless at some point
Nearly 60 percent of young men had been convicted of a crime...while only 6 percent have college degrees.
Betsie Norris is Executive Director of Adoption Network Cleveland and says Ohio needs to do a better job.
"Sadly, Ohio spends the least of all states on child welfare," says Norris.
Child advocates say for raising the age to 21 to work, foster kids need to be better prepared for life outside of the foster care system.