When children cannot return home to their families or be adopted by a new one, child welfare systems must act quickly to find them alternative homes. However, as time goes by, the chances for finding a safe, loving, and permanent environment seems impossible. Many will age out of the system when they turn 18, without a family and the skills to make it on their own. By this time, the kids have been through household instability, educational unsteadiness, and emotional insecurity. Some foster children experience multiple placements and in some cases eight or more. That’s eight homes that they move in and out of. So, just consider that this means they lose not just adults and other kids with whom they are establishing a bond, but friends, schoolmates, and even pets. Children endure so much heartbreak and uncertainty through the system and don’t need to experience additional distress. Kids in foster care are more likely than other children to exhibit high levels of behavioral and emotional problems because of their history.
Also, these children are more likely to get suspended and show less engagement in their classes. As adults, children who spent long periods of time in multiple foster care homes were more likely than other children to encounter problems such as unemployment, homelessness, and incarceration, as well as to experience early pregnancy. Former foster care youth may also be more likely, as young adults, to have multiple chronic health conditions. According to the only national study of youth aging out of foster care, only 48 percent of foster youth who had aged out of the system had graduated from high school at the time of discharge, and only 54 percent had graduated from high school two to four years after discharge. In addition, 38 percent had emotional issues, 50 percent used illegal drugs, and 25 percent were involved with the legal system. Approximately 25% of former foster youth nationwide reported that they had been homeless within 2 to 4 years of exiting foster care (National Alliance to End Homelessness).
The tenth amendment of the bill of rights states that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. That means the federal government is not gonna take care of foster care, the constitution does not create laws covering foster care, because under this amendment, the states make laws concerning foster care. The federal government is completely in control of immigration while states have nothing to do with it. However, in today’s political world, states are housing and caring for many young undocumented immigrants. If the state has the resources to finance undocumented immigrants, they can certainly find the money for citizens who age out of the foster care system. The government if not the state can support these people who are now over 18 because It is very difficult to be an 18 year old with no family or support system and to be “dumped” into a community and society that has limited financial opportunities for a, naive, uneducated, financially unstable young adult. The government should provide these children with free healthcare until their income is sufficient. We need to provide these kids with tools and mentors that will lead them on a exceptional path in life.
Because the federal government doesn’t adequately provide for these kids, It’s up to the county departments and the private agencies to take care of the details of foster care. This means that each one of us has a responsibility in our state to take action, and by closing one service gap at a time we can revolutionize the way foster kids are treated in our community. Additionally, in about six months when I’m 18 I hope to become part of a mentoring program for foster youth. In this way I would be able to connect with a deserving child to help them see their potential, be a role model and friend, and take part in a community to raise the children where we each have a role. However, in the meantime every month I will collect toys to give to foster homes near me like the Los Angels Orphan home or Vista Del Mar- Child and family. The very first step for a suitable public policy in any area is that you have a public that cares about that issue. We should all be caring about kids in foster care because the government legally is the parent for kids in foster care. In a democracy, we are the government, and that means every one of us as a citizen has some sort of responsibility for taking care of these kids that belong to all of us.
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