Tags: foster child | transition | parenting

Foster Care Shouldn't Be a Profit Center for Families

Image: Foster Care Shouldn't Be a Profit Center for Families
(Julia Sudnitskaya/Dreamstime)

By with Michael R. Shannon
Saturday, 25 November 2017 09:00 AM Current | Bio | Archive

It’s ironic or tragic or outrageous that in a nation where parents are allowed to keep their children on the family health insurance policy until they’re 26-years-old, many foster children are told to hit the streets when they turn 18.

Why is that you ask? Foster parents receive a monthly stipend for foster children in their care. The check is based on the age of the child, extenuating circumstances, and if the child has any disabilities. Amounts can vary depending of the state administering the program.

One thing all the checks have in common is that when the child turns 18 the money from the state stops. Call me naïve, but I would have thought that if a family truly cared about the individual it was fostering the absence of a check would not make any difference.

It shows you how much I know. For some revenue-minded foster "parents" when opening the door no longer provides a check, the foster child is shown the door.

In South Carolina the non-profit Carolina Youth Development Center is working to change this unpleasant reality for at least a few that have aged out of foster care.

CYDC is partnering with Cummins International — the manufacturer of the diesel engines that power the big rigs — to produce independent living transitional housing for those former foster kids. CYDC CEO Beverly Hardin told the Moultrie News, “Children don’t just become independent when they turn 18. They still need guidance and a safe and stable environment in order for them to grow into responsible adults capable of caring for themselves.”

The goal of the project is to attempt to reverse the shock of suddenly being on their own, which includes higher rates of homelessness, joblessness, and involvement with the criminal justice system.

Currently in South Carolina “more than 6,700 youth are in foster care, and over 600 of them are 18­20­year olds who will most likely “age out” of the foster care system without the skills and supports necessary to become successful, independent adults.”

Residents in the program will have an environment that is modeled on what their peers experience living in college dorms without, I certainly hope, the binge drinking.

Participants will work with the staff to establish and achieve personalized maturity milestones, learn how to successfully live on their own, and build the foundation for a successful future.

CYDC boasts a long and distinguished career as a “public childcare institution.” It was founded in 1790 as the nation’s first charitable childcare organization. As far as I’m concerned, this new initiative is a great addition to that tradition.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.

© Mike Reagan

   
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It’s ironic or tragic or outrageous that in a nation where parents are allowed to keep their children on the family health insurance policy until they’re 26-years-old, many foster children are told to hit the streets when they turn 18.
foster child, transition, parenting
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2017-00-25
Saturday, 25 November 2017 09:00 AM
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