Inequality In Emancipated Youth Essay

932 words - 4 pages

There are two birthdays that most teens cannot wait to celebrate, their sweet 16, and the long awaited 18th, birthday, the day when a child becomes an adult

There are two birthdays that most teens cannot wait to celebrate, their sweet 16, and the long awaited 18th, birthday, the day when a child becomes an adult. However, for many children who are in foster care the day of their 18th birthday is dreaded and may not be celebrated. This day signifies the day when a child is emancipated or "aged out" and the foster care system will no longer provide any assistance. Although there is a program in called Independent Living, there is, still a possibility the child may not have "a solid family base to fall back on, and can wind up in trouble with the law, and not having steady income." This can very well lead to a life of deviant criminal behavior and stunted growth in social status and economic mobility. These hardships should be minimized and the transitions should be easier and more functional than they have been in the past. Independence should be gained as a youth but this could prove difficult when there are big underlining issues needing to be addressed. In turn, there should be more programs readily available to youth for the transition from foster care to the time when they are emancipated youth. Once the youth has turned 18, this individual will no longer receive services from foster care. The youth misses the support base (ex. foster parent/family, caseworkers, GAL guardian ad Litem) they may have had, the medical benefits and it is hard for them to function in society. The transition is quick due to the youths having to be emancipated and the sudden environment change is difficult on the individuals. According to Greene and Powers, "Upon emancipation from foster care, these young people move abruptly into sudden adulthood, typically with no opportunity to return to the child welfare system if they find they are unprepared to make it on their own." (1086) Additionally, Kit Ingalls feels, " More than 25 percent of teens who age out of the foster care system experience some degree of homelessness within two years." (Ingalls 1) The transition from foster care into adulthood becomes hard on youth because the youth may have became accustomed to being told everything they are to do from waking up to going to sleep at night.

Now these young adults no longer have guidance, the youths being to make many of the wrong decisions. Many of the choices that these...

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