Updated: Oct 25, 2022
When I realized that parents needed raising too, I was a bit overwhelmed.
In foster care, now not only was I using my skills to show the kids how to deal with disappointment, but I also needed to help mend the relationship between the children and their parents that had let them down.
The more I dug into the stats of foster care and the more I began to understand the breakdown between the system and these parents -- the more I realized that my situation was not the only one.
Each year about twenty-thousand kids age out of the foster care system. Almost half will become homeless, and of the lady's half will become pregnant.
If you can get these foster kids to a high school diploma, only 3% will go onto higher education such as college or some form of additional education.
A staggering ninety 90% will commit suicide as healing the wounds of life are just too much for them to take and having the hope of a better life doesn't exist in their mind. Twenty percent will end up in jail. (Stats provided by THRUproject)
Foster kid's IQs are twenty points lower; their brains are in some cases underdeveloped and they don't have the ability to process information quickly and have a true understanding of what is required of them. When these kids age out of the foster care system, they do so without the emotional and financial support needed to succeed and these numbers rise every year.
When we find out that a foster kid is struggling to understand their responsibility to whatever their situation is, we have to remember that a majority of them are a product of a failing system. Our responses could make or break them. If the statistics are true, then I don't want to be the one that truly sends them over the edge.
The parents ARE included.
This is a cycle that is hard to break.
Most parents that have kids in the foster system were in fact in the system themselves. It is a vicious cycle. We can't "fix" them. We can't undo the harm that was caused, but what we can do is give them hope and teach them along the way.
Be patient and explain as many times as needed in order to help them understand. They are truly lost, lost in a world where there is no one fighting for them. The parents themselves are often a product the foster care system. They didn't have the support they needed so history repeated itself.
A little information you may not know, it takes up to 7x of teaching a concept until it is mastered. Minimum. Taking that time to be patient and lifting up those around you, will come back to reward you. The self-worth that you will feel by having helped another reach their potential.