Juvenile Law Center

Pursuing justiceA Juvenile law center Blog

May 15, 2012

Guest Blog: "I Became a Foster Kid At 8, And Was Expected To Not Be One Anymore at 21"

posted by Barb, former foster youth, Adams County, PA

Love: unconditional, real, enduring, forgiving, forever, always, accepting. 

Maybe I love easily, and maybe I collect people. This is probably because I know what it is like to have no one. I know one thing's for sure: being a product of the system has expanded my scope of what family means. It has also twisted and made more elusive the word we all know: love. You see, I became a foster kid at the age of eight, and was expected to not be a foster kid anymore at the age of 21. I lucked out though; so often, the stories of youth aging out of foster care end with them connectionless and transient. They have nobody to look after them. I asked someone the other day, "How do we as a system not check up on someone who lived in our care for any period of time, not to mention those who have grown up in foster care for the majority of their childhood?" We have to start recognizing that even though we fight hard to not be a foster child's parent, who else are they going to call? Who else has been there for them?

Tags:Child Welfare and Foster Care|Extended Care and Reentry (Foster Care)|Normalcy for Foster Youth|Permanency (Foster Care)|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
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May 10, 2012

Guest Blog: "For Me, Being a Teen Parent in the Child Welfare System Was Very Hard"

posted by Samantha, former foster youth

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. 

Tags:Child Welfare and Foster Care|Permanency (Foster Care)|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
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May 03, 2012

Aging Out Then and Now: A Call to Action from John LeVan, Foster Youth Alumni, Class of 1979

posted by John LeVan, Foster Home Finder and President, Board of Trustees, Coatesville Area Public Library, Pennsylvania

[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. 


Tags:Child Welfare and Foster Care|Extended Care and Reentry (Foster Care)|Permanency (Foster Care)|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
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May 01, 2012

Recognizing Foster Care Month—And What You Can Do To Help

posted by Juvenile Law Center

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.


Tags:Child Welfare and Foster Care|Extended Care and Reentry (Foster Care)|Fostering Connections|Normalcy for Foster Youth|Older Youth with Disabilities|Permanency (Foster Care)|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
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March 30, 2012

Political Rhetoric Obscures Rational Dialogue on the Affordable Care Act and Its Benefits for Children

posted by Juvenile Law Center

The historic legal arguments for and against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) have concluded. The future of the ACA now rests in the hands of the United States Supreme Court. Tragically, the legal and political wrangling over the Act's provisions has largely obscured the desperately needed benefits the Act provides to millions of American children. This is hardly surprising. With no political access of their own, children are the least likely among us to hear the echo of their voices in our country's legislative chambers.

Whatever the outcome, the Affordable Care Act unquestionably has taken a bold step in taking seriously the medical needs and interests of America's children.

Tags:Access to Healthcare|Coveredtil26 (Health Insurance)|Child Welfare and Foster Care|Fostering Connections|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
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