Category Archives: Welcome
Growing up I didn’t hear a whole lot of good things about foster care. As a child I heard “you can always go to foster care, you know what happens to you there”. There we’re stories of a family member that we had who took in foster kids only to collect the monthly check from the state. Some kids do go through neglect or abuse in foster care. I’ve read some articles that say that sexual abuse within the foster care system is 4 times more likely than in the general population and when in a group home that number jumps to 28 times more likely. I know first hand the extensive background and home checks the state requires and I can also tell you they’re pretty good at it but the amount of kids in foster care is abundant.
We also have a hard time fixing the effects of the abuse that got us into foster care in the first place. Foster children often have one or many disorders and troubles they take with them into adulthood. Post traumatic stress, eating disorders, panic and anxiety disorders just to name a few. I’ve seen this all around me. In my brothers, myself and kids of all ages in the foster care system. A child being messed with during their most important years of development can be a very tough thing to fix.
Teenage years are really important into forming a kid into and adult. Being in foster care no matter how safe or comfortable the situation is still very stressful. In my case I had a lot of support to do well in school and stay on the right track. I did have someone who expected me to succeed. Many kids don’t have that. In fact, according to one study a few years ago 28% of kids that age out of foster care didn’t have a high school diploma or GED. Even worse only 1.8% completed college.
Education is a key factor in a foster kid becoming successful. Many kids aging out of the system don’t have the education or a solid family in place a support system. This leaves many young adults with no education to fend for themselves and struggle to pay for housing, bills and education. Fortunately for people that don’t have that support system there are organizations like the Foster Care Alumni of America.
To keep things short I was placed into foster care at the age of 15. As too many kids know this transition can turn your world upside down. Since I didn’t know too much about foster care or the system I went to the Internet to try to get some answers. I found a lot of information about adoption and being a foster parent but no information for a foster child.
Many times after foster care there are still some issues that you may have from what you’ve been through. It’s good to be able to talk with people that have been through or are currently going through the same thing and finding out how they make it through. You’d be surprised at how much you may have in common with other foster kids.
After I got out of foster care and on my own I felt as though I really didn’t know what I was doing. I had taken and independent living course but having to take care of living on my own, work, and school was really overwhelming. With help with friends and new family I made it through and feel that I am a successful foster kid. I own my own house and car, have had a steady job for over 6 years, and soon getting married. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the support of others.
Now this is why I’ve made imafoster; to share some of the same things I’ve gone through and give insight on how I handled those situations. Hopefully I will not only help someone learn more but also learn more myself.