May 10, 2012
My name is Samantha and I entered care at two years old. I was put into foster care because my mom had a lot of kids and was also on drugs. All the first foster homes I was placed in were really bad because of the treatment that the foster parents gave me. I was in five foster homes, one group home, two treatment placements, and a Supervised Independent Living program (SIL). I aged out of care at 21 and am now living in a transitional housing program.
May 03, 2012
[Ed. note: This post is part of a series of blog posts Juvenile Law Center will be publishing during National Foster Care Month to call attention to issues facing foster youth who are aging out of the system].
Much of my childhood was spent in foster care in Pennsylvania. During that time, I moved approximately 25 times and went to five different schools. The experiences of growing up in foster care and the feelings of fear, worry, loneliness, confusion and depression that are associated with the realization that next year, next month, or next week you will be on your own transcend time. When I aged out of the foster care system in 1979 at the age of 17, I felt all of those feelings and more.
May 01, 2012
Today marks the beginning of National Foster Care Month. Juvenile Law Center joins advocates, organizations, and citizens across the country in renewing our commitment to improving the lives of foster youth—some of our most vulnerable children.
Each year, approximately 30,000 youth in the United States age out of care in the child welfare system without the support of family. These young people, talented and rich with potential, face enormous challenges and obstacles, and research overwhelmingly shows that they fare poorly as adults. These youth deserve a chance at success. Fortunately, the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, signed in 2008, provides states the opportunity to follow through on our commitment to youth in the child welfare system--but states must take affirmative steps to implement the options that apply to older youth.