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.

Foster Kids That Age Out

   Not every kid in foster care starts their journey at the same point in their life. Some kids are put into states care when they are young and they get adopted. Some either don't get adopted or are placed into the foster care system when they are in their later teens. These kids then "age out" of the system. This is what I did and it can be pretty tough going out into the world on your own. The only family I had besides my brothers were states away.

  I moved out with some friend the summer I graduated. I refused to live in the dorms in college and I was already had extreme anxiety about even going to college in the first place. Looking back it probably wasn't the best idea no not live in the dorm. I would have had to take out some loans to live in the dorms but by living on my own I had to work a full time job to pay for bills. Luckily I had taken an Independent Living course that allowed me to get some state help every month and helped pay for some schooling as well. Working full time, mixed with anxiety, and being an eighteen year old with no one to tell me what to do didn't make the whole college thing work out to well and I dropped out after a year.

  Many times I wished there was some one to just tell me what to do or what to expect. Like the time I woke up when winter morning and it was 45 degrees in the house because I was out of propane. I had no idea how much it could cost to fill up a tank for the winter. My point is that too many kids are sent our in to this world with not enough knowledge to be successful. I even had the advantage for coming from Coyote Hill where they taught me a lot about what I need to do to be on my own and I still ran into situations. I recently was reading the National Facts About Children in Foster Care page on the fostercarealumni.org website and the statistics don’t look good. According to their statistics 20,000 young adult’s age out of foster care each year. Only around 54% get a high school diploma or GED and only around 2% obtained a Bachelor's degree or higher. Around 51% were unemployed. With statistics like these how do we expect these kids to succeed?

9 comments:

  1. Good post by the New York Times about foster kid's hardships aging out in that area... http://tinyurl.com/3q4hx4d

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  2. I work in NC and we are fortunate to have a NC LINKS program here which teaches older foster children independent living skills, gives them all the documents they might need whne turning 18 and provides them mentoring services during that 18-21 year old time period. Some areas even set up "foster families" so that those attending college have a place to call home during breaks and summers. Check out the info at - http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dss/links/index.html if you're a NC resident. I wish other states would adopt similar things.

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  3. That's a great program! Thanks for sharing that information. More states NEED to adopt similar things. States NEED to spend money now to help and prepare these kids to be successful and they would save money in the long run with less needing assistance throughout their lives.

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  4. I think that aging out of the system is something that people who have not had experience with foster care never think about. 18 isn't a magical age that means you no longer need help or support or mentoring from a parental figure.

    I hope that more states will set up programs like the one mentioned above that recognize the need for older foster kids to still have help and a support system after they turn 18.

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    1. Your right 18 isn't thee magical number. I'm 24 I could still use some mentoring from a parental figure from time to time. Just someone to help me figure out some of life's decisions.

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  5. I aged out and had no help at all. I stuggled for year, got into a bad relationship because I needed a place to live. Not a good idea, but what else was I to do? Well after overcoming everything I am a very happy adult, who is married with a wonderful family of my own. No one is going to hand you your dreams on a silver platter. You have to go out and work hard to better your life and reach your goals. Trust me it can be done. It would be nice with help though.

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    1. I've gone through a something somewhat similar. I got through some rough times but your right, though hard, sometimes very hard, it can be done!

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  6. What is the roll of a foster parent, if not to be a parent? I was in foster care a couple of times, but only briefly, so I don't really know what goes on for someone that needs to be there for years. I know that they get money for you being there and have to provide basic needs like clothes, food, and obviously shelter. What about everything else a person needs? Does that just fall at the wayside? What's the application process? Do they allow just anyone to be a foster parent? I need info! Thanks.

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    1. Are you interested in becoming a foster parent? If your wondering about the process of becoming a foster parent you I recommend this link http://www.imafoster.com/2013/08/becoming-foster-parent-part-1.html

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