We have five children’s bedrooms each with a private full bathroom, which can accommodate up to 9 children. We have two master bedrooms with a private bathroom for our house-parents. We have a large kitchen with stainless steel appliances, including two refrigerators. We have a full size dining room with a dining set that accommodates twelve individuals. We have a large living room and a great room for children, both equipped with televisions and DVD players. The children use the great room to access the computers, play games, play video games, watch televisions, etc. We also have a large laundry room equipped with two washer and dryer sets, storage and a large freezer. We have been very blessed and are incredibly thankful to those who support us and have allowed this dream to become a reality for many children!
We have had many children/youth saved and baptized since opening in 2005.
Today, there are approximately 100,000 young people in the U.S. between the ages of 16 and 21 who are about to leave or have already left foster care. For years, if not their entire lifetimes, their “parents” have been a state or county agency, and now, overnight, they are on their own. Most 18-year-olds coming from intact families can expect emotional and financial support for years to come; in the U.S. the average age a young person with support leaves home is age 25. Once a foster child turns 18 most states are no longer legally obligated to provide any assistance. Consequently, most youth aging out of foster care experience unhappy outcomes including homelessness and substance abuse.
Additionally, more than half do not graduate from high school and only about one in eight graduate from a four-year college. Furthermore, four years after leaving care, 25% of youth who were in care have been homeless, 44% have been parents themselves and fewer than 20% are self-supporting.
As I watch them “age out” of the foster care system, I began to realize just how unprepared even the most motivated foster kids are for independent living. Many leave the system without jobs, stable homes, savings or people they can count on. Even those, who initially return to their biological families, often find themselves unexpectedly alone.
“A lot of people say most foster kids go back home,” “What they don’t say is that most people get kicked out of that home.
By: Rita Scism
Annual trip to the mountains snow tubeing.