Foster Youth

835 Words 4 Pages
Growing up, children in foster care are faced with the uncertainty of what will happen when their 18th birthday arrives. With many not graduating high school, and little stability, emotional support or general 'life training ', foster children in Canada often fall into poverty when no longer supported by the system. Required to leave their foster homes at 18, most of these children have no clue how to pay bills, pay taxes, and upkeep a job and school at the same time, let alone cook for themselves (OACAS, 2012). Although Persaud and Norrington (2009) note they are given a monthly allowance if they stay in school, this allowance is not much more than what is given for a single adult on social assistance (Ontario Ministry of Community and Social …show more content…
Not only are they sometimes switched out of their native school during the school year, but there is also a lack of communication and understanding between schools and the child welfare system that can cause delays in enrolment and loss of school files. Fergusun and Walkow (2012) suggest that this, along with the emotional stress and trauma foster youth face, causes them to fall behind their peers. According to Flynn, Tessier, and Coulombe (2012) as well as OACAS (2012), 81% of Ontario 's population graduate high school, while only 44% of foster youth do. These statistics show a disparity between the education of youth living with biological parents and foster youth. Fergusun and Wolkow (2012) add that for foster youth in care, failing school is more detrimental than it is for children with families to fall back on. They go further to conclude that without the proper supports and initiatives being taken to encourage the education of youth in care, as well as the negative perception society places on 'foster children ', youth in care don 't have much of a chance of overcoming this …show more content…
For a large amount of foster youth, life as an adult begins with homelessness, social assistance, and group homes (OACAS, 2012). Fergusun and Wolkow (2012) had touched on the fact that failing high school for foster youth, is very different then failing for youth with families. But coupled with the fact that they 're kicked out at 18, and their assistance is cut off (OACAS, 2012), these youth face extreme disadvantages. Often they turn to social assistance (OACAS, 2012) but another dark turn for them is homelessness and incarceration as noted by Saddichha, Fliers, Frankish, Somers, Schuetz, and Krausz (2014). In their study, they aimed to gain insight on the homeless, and the factors that lead to some becoming incarcerated, rather than others. What they found was 56.4% of incarcerated homeless were in foster care compared to 35.5% of the non-incarcerated homeless population. This suggests not only that a larger amount of past foster youth are now incarcerated, but also that a number of past foster youth end up homeless. 49.2% of the homeless Saddichha et al. (2014) interviewed had been in foster care. Taking all this into consideration, foster care definitely has it 's benefits, and is a necessary evil, but child protective services need to consider the outcome of these children as well

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