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Washington Moves Toward Helping Kids Aging out of Foster Care

Hand2Paw helps homeless youth, many of whom end up that way because they turn 18 and are no longer eligible for foster care but they have not yet achieved a permanent family placement.  Their situation is almost beyond comprehension so we keep close tabs on legislation that might afford them more of a bridge to adulthood and a stable future.  Washington is currently considering such legislation.  Here is a glimpse into what it feels like to have no safety net:

Growing up in a trailer with her uncle and grandfather, Sharayah Lane always knew what her 18th birthday would mean: homelessness.

As expected, when that day came it was marked not by parties, but an immediate end to the foster-care reimbursement checks that allowed Lane’s relatives to cover the costs of sheltering her. No more checks meant no more housing.

“It was just common knowledge — when you turn 18, you’re done,” Lane said. “After the checks stopped coming, we all went our separate ways. For me, that was couch-surfing — keeping my stuff in my backpack and staying wherever I could.”

http://crosscut.com/2013/02/15/social-services/112965/aged-out-and-alone-18/