Making the transition from family life – even dysfunctional family life – to foster child is an unimaginably difficult proposition. Some kids have substantial complications for which the current foster care system is not well equipped to handle. These kids get moved from failed placement to failed placement. On average, they’ve been to 14 different foster placements in less than 18 years! Their esteem suffers; they fall behind in school or drop out; many end up homeless.
Our area is blessed to have AMIKids Crossroads, whose program encompasses foster boys between 13 and 18 years of age. However, at the age of 18 these kids ‘age out’ of the foster care program.
Unfortunately, at age 18, few people in this world are prepared to be fully immersed into independent living. Those who were raised by family have a tremendous advantage; they have someone to call for help or advice. The boys from Crossroads do not have this luxury.
In other words, the outlook for these troubled young men is even more dire than the nationwide statistics would suggest. The kids from AMIKids Crossroads are all fighting to catch up to their peers –throwing them out into the world without a net at age 18 does little to preserve the progress for which these boys have fought so hard.