Monday, July 14, 2014

I Like To Think About The Good, It Makes Life Easier, Doesn't It?

Did you know that at 18, children age out of Foster Care? O.K. you probably did know that... Have you ever thought about what that really means? I can say that (even being a Foster Parent) I both have and have not thought about it... I know what it means, but it is so very depressing that I try not to think about the full ramifications of a child being forced out of the Foster Care System.
I like to think about the Good. I like to think that there are more Good Foster Parents than Bad. I like to think that there are more Good outcomes in Foster Care then Bad outcomes. It just makes life easier when you focus on the good, doesn't it? We can just go on our merry way not worrying about the bad. We can just focus on ourselves, and not worry about everyone else. Is that what life is about? Are we intended to only worry about ourselves and not others? Am I here only for the purpose of getting myself safely through this journey called Life?

I recently read an article about a child who aged out of the system at 18, which for him equated to a High School Junior. His Foster Parents (who lets just say probably should reconsider giving up their Foster License which is my nice way of saying they should have never had a License) who were no longer going to receive money for him, told him to move out. Yes, told him to move out. He was technically not a Foster Child anymore which means ALL of his services ended, including his monthly reimbursement from the State. Since this was probably an income generator for this family, he needed to go so that they could fill his spot with someone that could bring in money. So, this High School Junior was now homeless and had no medical insurance... Can you imagine?!?! What were you doing your Junior year in High School? I know I was having a pretty good time, between friends and Proms, and first jobs it was fun, and I was carefree. Not that kid, he no longer had a roof over his head and God forbid anything medically happen to him.

Did you know that only 1%-3% of all Foster Children end up in College? Now does this all start to make sense? At 18 they age out, which means at 18 a majority of them become INSTANTLY homeless. I haven't met a single homeless person that is attending College, have you? Homeless and no medical coverage. Why do I keep bringing up the no medical coverage? Well because a good majority of Foster Children suffer from various illness. No medical, means no medication, which equates to a person really struggling to survive. How can they get ahead when they have no home, no support, no counseling, no medications... It is pretty bleak. It is heart braking.

I stumbled across this bit of info this past week, and I have to pass it on. If you know any child getting ready to age out, or maybe recently aged out make sure they are aware that they are eligible until the age of 26 to continue to receive medical insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). This will be a huge relief for many who have or will be aging out. For those that have applied for coverage under this Act you know how complicated and time consuming it is. Many former Foster Children will not be able to handle the task of signing up, and like anything there are some Very dumb loopholes that will hopefully get worked out. The child will have to reside in the State that they aged out of to be eligible for coverage. That being said there are currently 180,000 eligible former Foster Children that are NOT taking part in this... So please I ask of you to spread the word. If you come across a former Foster Child that was denied coverage, you tell them to march right back in and not leave the office until they have coverage. Many enrollment workers are not even aware of this provision, but YES it exists. Getting this information out is hard, unfortunately many former Foster Children just disappear. Many ending up on the streets, many not wanting to be associated with Foster Care.

I ask of you to spread this information to everyone you know. It is one way that you too can help.

1 comment:

  1. oh how sad, for those Foster kids... and I think it is awful that some people get their F.C.L., just to use as a source of income.. grrrr!


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