How some states are helping foster kids build lives

Of the 450,000 kids in foster care, many of them are aging out of the system, leaving them homeless and helpless. But some states are helping them become independent.
7:46 | 10/18/19

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Transcript for How some states are helping foster kids build lives
It is time for the finale of our series, home sweet home. Roll that prompter. That will help me out if you do that, and we have -- it starts here, and this morning we have another incredible story that we want to share with you guys. Nearly 450,000 children are in foster care in the states, and these kids age out of the system at 18 years old, leaving many homeless and helpless, but some states have extended the program to help these young men and women navigate their new Independence and build a life for themselves. Let's take a look at one of these aspiring stories. We have a film series. Reporter: 18-year-old Darlene is a senior in high school. That's nice. Reporter: This is her very first college tour. We partnered with the zoo, and you can work with them. Oh. Dolphins. Elephants. Reporter: She has big plans for her future. What I want to be when I grow up is a veterinarian or probably a nurse. Reporter: It's a future that she wasn't able to imagine until she met Taryn. I would love to have something in there. Do it for fun. All I had was me. I didn't have anybody else to go to, so Taryn was a big part -- I wouldn't be here right now. So it was important to me. Eporter: Darlene aged out of foster care at 18, and Taryn was there to help her navigate some of the adult decisions she was facing. Luckily for Darlene, Louisiana had just become the 28th state to extend foster care to the age of 21. When I turned 18, I wasn't ready to be on my own. I didn't no what to do, like, what school, having a job. Reporter: Without having a parent to lean on, navigating adulthood can be difficult for a foster child. So this is what I have to pay for textbooks? They're not just applying for college. They don't know how to get credit or maybe don't know anybody who has ever had a checking account. These things that some of us take for granted, they don't know where to begin with them. Insurance is going to be really high, around $900 without having a mom and a dad. Reporter: Taryn is helping Darlene navigate the hurdles. I had asked if there were adults you could be on a insurance plan with. Did you get anywhere with that? Do you have anybody on an insurance plan? Not yet. Reporter: But this relationship extends far beyond housing and finance advice. Taryn and I are really close, and we're building up a friendship. There's not enough words to describe her, like, she's When I first met Darlene, she seemed to kind of lack some self-confidence. It just kind of kept her inside because she was kind of fearful of life, but this is also a young person who, you know, finally took the steps to STA volunteering. Reporter: Taryn encouraged Darlene to step out of her comfort zone and volunteer at a dog shelter. I gave them the medicine. I gave Briscoe the eye drops and sometimes I do dog walks and I just like the dogs. I just want the dogs to have a loving, safe and caring home. It's kind of like us because I'm in foster care and stuff, but they just want, like, you know, to be adopted. I want her to find a real passion for life and realize how many cool things are out there that she never dreamed about, and that's what I would like to leave her with. Now I'm older now, 18 about to turn 19, I'm thinking about the future and thinking about college, an apartment, a job, like, I just got to keep going. I can't stop. I love this story. Let's give a warm welcome to Darlene and Taryn who are joining us this morning. Thank you. Thank you both for joining us. I'm going to start with you. So many kids that age out of foster care at 18 end up homeless. So how does this program help combat that? Of course, they're going to become homeless. Do you remember being 18? You knew nothing at all, but maybe you thought you did. This program kind of helps kids reset their minds and think about what they're capable of beyond just giving a little money or an apartment to live in. They're going to actually take these skills and sustain them throughout their life to maybe just have that stability and housing they need. Darlene, she has helped you build your life beyond the foster care system. Where do you think you would be without this program? For starters, I wouldn't be here in New York City. So -- So she helps me a lot, like, trying to find a car, an apartment, trying to get credit because I don't have credit and it's really hard. So she helped me with that. She's, like, a big part of, you know, just -- she's like a big part in the program. They give you money, but I would suggest, you know, use it wisely, but also they help you with college, and I want to go to university of holy cross. They have a good nursing program. Also, like, I'm between nursing and vet tech, like -- You got a lot going on, young lady. You got a lot going on. Yeah. It's awesome to see that, and I'm sure there are other kids your age who are probably feeling lost and in some situation, and this is an inspiring story to help them understand that there's more out there, and more you can achieve, and there are so many incredible things you can say about Darlene. You became really close, and we saw the picture with glitter all over your face. What do you want people to know most about her? What don't I want people to know about Darlene? She's amazing. When I met her, she was just surviving and now she's thriving. She has become a confident young lady. She really she's using her brain to just make great decisions in life, and I just want nothing more than for her to have great relationships, have stable housing and amazing jobs and opportunities out there. You said you were looking for an apartment, Darlene. Yeah. Because I'm about to graduate high school. So yeah. We don't really have room -- we live in a one-story house with two rooms and four people. There's me, my nephew and my sister and my dad. When you get an apartment, I think you were worried about furnishing and other stuff you have to deal with with an we wanted to help out, and so did our friends, so we wanted to help you along in your journey a little bit. So guys, come out. Bring out the bed and the bedding, but -- but, you know, there is so much more that goes into making a house feel like a home. So, you know, come on, guys. Keep on bringing it out. Don't stop. Come on out with it. Keep on bringing it out. We have a tool kit. We have kitchen appliances. We have bedding and more. Come on. Keep on coming out, guys. These are just some things that help you get along on a journey we know is going to be a great one, and we really appreciate both of you letting us highlight this story. I think it's going to help so many out there, and you know, how do you feel right now? I feel happy. That's really nice. To see you happy makes us all happy, and we wish you continued happiness, okay? Thank you both so much. Taryn and Darlene, thank you for sharing your story, and a special thank you to all of these companies for donating these great products to help us

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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