Things That We Need To Talk About:
I don’t know how many of you know this, but recently the Virginia legislature moved to cease funding to provide services for foster youth after the age of 18. Previously, most jurisdictions allowed foster youth to continue receiving services until 21- which helped them find housing, attend school, receive mental health and physical health services, etc. These are young people who have a very low chance of being adopted, and will most likely age out of the system.
Maybe a few of us at 18 are ready to be independent at 18, but when you lack support from family, your odds of succeeding are slim. Virginia legislature has made it so thousands of foster youth will age out of the system way before they are prepared to- and it’s certain to lead to an increase in homelessness, chronic poverty, cut college graduation rates SIGNIFICANTLY, and create a slew of negative health consequences.
I’m bad at explaining things so this article helps.
“These are young people who we know, at age 18, are at terrible risk of homelessness, unemployment, school dropout and involvement in the criminal justice system,” said Amy Woolard, a lawyer who specializes in child welfare issues and works with Voices for Virginia’s Children, a nonprofit group that pushes for improved health, mental health and social services for children.
“Kids who have this kind of transitional support are two to three times more likely to be enrolled in college and are more likely to seek health and mental health treatment when needed,” she said. “These are kids who face incredible odds — their success stories should not be based on luck or accident.”
So please, please, please- spread this around and contact your state legislation and let them know that this isn’t acceptable. Even if you don’t live in Virginia, if it happened here there’s a huge chance that it may be brought up in your state/