Sunday, November 22, 2015

Aging Out Fostor Youth - New Changes Working And More Coming

 From the ages of 14 to 17 I was in the foster and group home system.  Back then, once you turn 18 you were on your own - meaning no one was obligated to take care of you, your shelter, food, clothing, education or anything else. And by the time you turned 17, if you had a job, were going to school and had your own place, no one was going to stop you, or help you much beyond some counseling at school maybe. And that's the route I took 3 days after I turned seventeen.

I graduated from high school a year later and went on to community colleges on the Pell Grant, which probably ages me somewhat as its called something else now.

Over the years the community service organizations noticed that the homeless problem had a huge problem with homeless foster youth who had reached the age of 18 and had no where to go and no skills of what to do to change that. Overnight they were on their own.

It took years, but finally now there is an "Aging Out" program that helps kids from age 18 to age 21.

To that is the good news. The new change.

But the story continues years later...

They saw the same problem, only this time homeless kids at age 21, and they saw the need for youth to have supportive services until the age of 24 and that is the new thing in the works now.... that hasn't yet passed yet or come to be, but it is in process right now as of this writintg (Nov '15).

I just wanted to add to the public awareness about this.

For 6 months I worked as a Social Worker with the aging out population. Youth who were age 18 to age 21 and the main goal was to a) provide them with funds for housing of which there were a few choices, including getting their own apartment, and b) requiring them to either go to college or get training or get and keep a job.

The problem....

Some of these young people still fell off the support wagon at age 21 for various reasons. Not all their fault.

So to extend the supportive services - to help youth through college or those first few years of being a working adult, or a parent with kids, to age 24 seems to be the best idea yet for all those affected and the community itself is also benefited from this extension..

I hope if you hear about it in your town or state that you support whatever measures are put forward to extend Foster and Aging Out Foster programs to age 24.

Thanks for reading.

Welcome to Recovery Tapping - Tap Out of Fear and Into Choices - J.P.Bailey, MA, EFT-CC Emotional Freedom Coach