The Blog

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A Former Foster Child and Current Caseworker Talks about Aging Out of Foster Care

This article is poignant and informative of the plight faced by many of the youth that Hand2Paw serves.  She states

“[A]dolescents in foster care are often forgotten. They become “lost” in the system, unless they become behavior problems and are referred to the juvenile justice system. But what about the children who are not a behavior problem and who can’t go back home? What happens to them?

In many cases, a youth will have a relative or other important adult in their life who will guide them through the transitional stage of emancipating from the foster care system. That adult will provide them with guidance, advice, advocacy and assistance in reaching that next step in life. Some youth will consider vocational training or college, while others will choose to enter the work force. The supportive adult will guide them through this process, helping them fill out college applications and financial aid forms, or help them find a job.

However, the reality is that not everyone will have this opportunity. Not every foster child will have a caring, responsible adult in his/her life. It’s really the luck of the draw.”

Hand2Paw seeks, in a small way, to be that supportive force in an adolescent’s life.  We welcome your support in our efforts.

Suggestions from Foster Kids in Washington State

I read and appreciated this blog post from Ross Hunter, member of the Washington State House of Representatives,  about his meeting with foster youth and foster “alumni.”   The youth, having experienced the “system,” make sometimes remarkably sensible proposals for how to ease the transition from foster care to independence.  Things as simple as ensuring that the planning meeting that is supposed to take place when they are 17 actually takes place and is attended by the youth.  Read about these youth, who call themselves the Mockingbird Society, here.  Maybe you could make sure their suggestions are adopted in your state!

A Powerful Advocate for Support for Kids Who Age out of Foster Care

Anyone can tell you the dire prospects for kids who age out of foster care without finding the support of a loving family or a permanent home.  This article, written in support of California legislation that would provide additional support for these kids beyond age 18, is written by a young woman who lived it,  just as many of our Hand2Paw kids have.   It provides a window into what it would be like to be without any safety net as a teenager and underscores the need for all of us, government and individuals, to do what we can to be that net.