Life Before, During And After Foster Care


I was a foster kid and now a kinship parent. My life before, during, & after foster care taught me a lot. Here's insight into the lives of the foster kids and foster parents of foster care.

Getting That First Job

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 One of the difficult things about being a foster kid is seeing the kids around you have things that you may not have or even have the opportunity to get. It could be a variety of things from cool clothes, new shoes, the latest video game or even having a pet. Some of it may have to do with the rules of where you’re staying or you don’t have parents to buy that stuff. I recognized early on that if I wanted those things then I had to go and get them for myself. I realized really quickly that I was going to have to work harder than most of my peers to get some of the things they had and to even be successful. I had to get a job, but getting a job isn’t the easiest thing to do as a foster kid.




 First off there’s that foster care stigma that follows you. I lived in a small town, about 180 people, so new people are recognized quickly. My foster home was well known and everybody knew I was in foster care. You may live in a larger area or you may not look like a foster kid, but I’m sure it will come up at some point. Unfortunately many people negative preconceived ideas when it comes to foster kids. As an employer many think troubled kid, stealing, issues in life, not being reliable or not having a reliable ride. A couple of those may even be true. My first boss told me after I had worked there that she wouldn’t have hired me without the recommendation of the superintendent that I had gotten. She had preconceived ideas of the employee I would because I was a foster kid, and it wasn't a good one.

 Speaking those preconceived ideas of a foster kid, the not having a ride part can be a problem. It’s not easy to get your license as a foster care and you have to have money to buy a car. If you think about it the order of how you have to do things really works against you. Luckily I had a situation where I worked close and had someone to take me. Many kids do not. One thing you can learn in life really quick as a foster kid. Most people you have to interact with CAN’T care about your situation or that you’re in foster care. It’s bad for business. An employer isn’t going to keep you around if you can’t get to work all the time on time just because you're having foster kid problems.

 It’s a good lesson to learn, but also a tough one. In life, foster kids are going to be babied. When that water bill comes in you can’t tell them your life story and get a pass. As a foster kid, if your want to be successful you may have to work a little harder than the next person. When you do get to that point where you’ve reached your success, it feels that much better looking back on where you came from.