There are kids in the foster care system who are never adopted, or placed back with their families and relatives. When they start aging out at 17, they're often alone in the world: No home, no family, little support. Over the last five years, more than 1,500 people between the ages of 17 and 21 aged out of the Colorado foster care system, and often ended up homeless or incarcerated.

Denver Post investigative reporter Jennifer Brown told Colorado Matters about these discoveries and more found in her ongoing series "Aged Out: Foster Care in Colorado." Brown has covered the child welfare system for years, including cases of children who die in the system and the overmedication of foster youth. It was because of the latter story that Brown got the phone call that inspired "Aged Out:" a reader contacted to her, wondering if Brown could help the 18-year-old she had profiled find a bed, or even a mattress.