What is Eddie's Road?
Eddie’s Road is a program of The Eddie James Foundation for Children. Founded in memory of Eddie James the focus of our non-profit foundation is to stop the cycle of abuse through proper education, mentoring, counseling and activities that encourage children to reach their full potential without the influences of violence, addiction or neglect.
We work directly with national organizations and regional group homes to create programs directed specifically to coaching/mentoring children between the ages of 14-18 as they face the challenges of moving into adulthood and independence from the child welfare system.
The Facts About Child Abuse & Aging Out of Foster Care
The United States has the worst record of child abuse in industrialized nations. Child abuse and neglect affects 6 million children each year and more than 5 children die every day as result. Sadly, many more cases go unreported.
Survivors of child abuse typically enter the child welfare system and are placed in foster care or group homes until they can be placed back with their family or are adopted. Almost half a million children are in the United States foster care system. Approximately 30,000 children age out of the system annually. This underserved youth population dramatically increases each year.
Many who age out of foster care at 18 or older entered the system as teenagers. As they prepare to transition to independent living, they need support and services that foster the skills necessary to enter adulthood successfully. Studies of youth who leave foster care without a safe, permanent support system reveal consistently negative outcomes.
- An estimated 25 percent do not have a high school diploma or GED.
- Less than 2 percent will finish college compared with 23 percent of youth in the general population.
- Over half will experience one or more episodes of homelessness.
- Nearly 30 percent are incarcerated at some point.
- Youth who aged out of foster care were less likely to be employed or to have health insurance than were their peers who had not been in foster care.
Eddie’s Road strives to alter these negative statistics. By supporting programs aimed at youth between the ages of 14-18 we can teach, mentor and coach at-risk children to lead independent, fulfilling and productive lives.
Lyle the Bear served many years as Eddie's constant co-pilot on motorcycle rides across the country. Now Lyle spends his time traveling the United States raising funds for Eddie's Road.