One of the great myths circulating in the FC world is that there is a magical place where young people, mere teens get to live independantly. In this place the lack of any positive relationships with functioning established adults is no matter because WE LIVE FREE!
Free to make our own decisions and our own mistakes. We are free to work and pay our way in the world. Lack any marketable skills? No problem the “program” will provide. Lack a place to live? No worries the “program” will set you up. Think this notion of “family ” is just marketing bullshit, pipe dreams and social work happy speak?
Who needs the pressure? After so many years of living under the control of other people it feels good to finally be free!
Who doesn’t want freedom? What sets us free? The truth shall make us free is what I’ve been told. When you’re 18 years old with no job skills or much formal education you are many things but Free is not one of them.
When you are a twenty year old college student with no mailing address beside your dorm room and no access to your dorm room during semester and summer breaks that’s not freedom.
When your minimum wage job disappears or the section 8 gets interrupted or the child support becomes due even though you lost your minimum wage job two months ago the feeling that you get? Its not freedom.
Glad to be out of foster care? Now what? Whose couch are you gonna perch on until you can stand on your own? Whose pocket is the $300. dollars you need to pay (you name it) going to come from?
What was that staff trying to sell you when they “talked” to you about permanency?
We live in this world in a shared state of interdependency. While I make my way through the world older more established people guide and provide until I am able to do the same for someone else. Real world folks depend on the network of people that they call family. Psychologically, biologically and financially we all grow better in community!
Over twenty thousand 18 to 21 year olds “age out” of foster care every year. They “age out” to shelters, streets, prisons and hardship sold a bill of goods FC calls independent living skills or some other initials that spell homeless with no one to turn to. Family is more than blood and DNA; it is a social contract upon which the soul of our nation rests. We require family to honor their obligations to its children and the collective. Membership is irrevocable and for a lifetime; we are responsible for them until such time as they can be responsible for themselves.
Children in foster care are systematically stripped of their sense of family and then coerced into believing that they can “make it” alone; first of all why should they have to and secondly why should they want to.
Aging out? Think about it!