This Particular Foster Youth Myth Needs to End Today

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This is a guest blog from our friends at Foster and Adoptive Family Services!

 

Public perception paints foster children as juvenile delinquents who have earned their place in the foster

care system. To the media, they are criminals and drug pushers. They are beyond help and they are

beyond hope.

 

The only problem with this narrative is that it’s completely wrong.

 

By definition, foster children are children in a temporary living arrangement due to being abused and/or

neglected by their parents. They are kids who were taken out of their home and placed with a stranger

in a foster home or a relative or a friend in a kinship home. In both cases, the state is involved and the

caregiver is licensed.

 

Still – that doesn’t really tell you who these foster children are.

 

They are innocent victims of tragic circumstance. They are blameless. They did nothing wrong and yet

found themselves removed from their homes, snatched from the life they knew.

And it wasn’t a great life. But they didn’t know that. They didn’t know that your dad wasn’t supposed to

put cigarettes out on your arm. They didn’t know that it wasn’t normal to not have running water or

lights in their homes. They didn’t know other kids didn’t get left home by themselves for days.

They are kids who didn’t know they were being robbed of their childhood.

 

But you know what else they are?

 

They are resilient. They are strong. They are boys and girls who are unwilling to let the past define them

as damaged or broken. They are teens who are tutoring your child in math. They are your child’s best

friend. They are soccer teammates, band members and classmates. They are all around you and you had

no idea.

 

They are also the future.

 

They are the policemen that keep you safe because they, more than anyone, know how important it is

to feel protected. They are the teachers that inspire your children to dream of a better world. They are

the social workers who, unseen by the public at large, make sure children who have tragic beginnings,

have a chance at incredible endings.

Foster children are the community’s children with the same hopes and dreams of all children. And it’s up

to us to help them.

 

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