Nothing tears my heart apart than seeing children being "forced" to leave care and be with their families or caregivers whom they don't even have a relationship with, just because they have reached adulthood.
I mean, 18 years is not that old and we all are aware of the uniqueness of every child's development. So to me, 18 years is just a number not a definition of maturity.
How does one force a child to leave the system, just because she's just turned 18?! Even if she has nowhere to go or is still schooling. Not every child will be done with school and ready to take on the world at age 18.
You can't just rely on a newly found foster parent or family member who doesn't even get along with the child..... I don't even want to mention the anxiety and depression the child goes through.
Well, I thought I should just let it out there, maybe it'll ease my frustrations.
What are your thoughts?
You may be interested in reading these previous discussion threads regarding children leaving care – Eds.
Can't the system at least extend the age to 20/21 maybe? Or put in place projects that are specifically designed for children leaving care?
I agree, they need to extend the "age". But to what? My daughter had a set back and didn't graduate till 19 years old. Still at only 20 I feel that there is so much more she needs to learn. I feel so bad for these children that are caught in the system ,then turned out to the streets. There was a time I stepped in for one of her friends that was being abused in the foster care house she was in. The red tape would not allow her to come and stay with us till her 18th birthday which was only 4 months away. I feel they wanted the MONEY more than what was best for her. As a result she ran from Oregon to Texas – got in some trouble – didn't finish school and now is a young mother.
I hope someone will take the time to help make the system better for these children and review each case individually.
This topic of Children Transitioning from Care has been discussed for some time now by the Social Service Professionals all around the world and was one of the hot topics at the recent FICE Congress in Vienna. The children themselves have been trying to make noise about how they are being pushed away from care and into the streets to once again become victims and care recipients at a different level or point of service.
We all can relate and narrate so many stories of children who suffered in this situation but I would like to encourage all of us to continue the fight.