Today’s story is featuring the Youth Leaving Care Report. Who better then the youth to tell us WHY #aHome4EveryKid is a must!
To read the report - click here (http://digital.provincialadvocate.on.ca/i/69162/15)
Youth Leaving Care Report Quotes PAGE #1
Ontario’s public adoption and foster care system is in drastic need of improvement. Ontario’s ward is being prematurely dispensed from care as though they are perfectly able to care for themselves monetarily and emotionally despite having very few, if any, familial relationships to fall back on. The lack of continued support after a child reaches a certain age poses a risk to the youth that Ontario taxpayers are responsible for. If a child is funded only minimally, and left to fend for themselves suddenly, they are likely to continue to need services from the system. If we ensure that all children are in a stable position before letting them leave our care, we increase their odds at successfully acquiring an education, a job and establishing a life for themselves outside of our care. Our children are not currently being set up for success.
Here are the facts…
“[In 2011] There [were] approximately 8300 children and youth in care in the Province of Ontario…Right now when youth turn 21, care officially ends.” (Pg 5 YLC)
In Ontario, as of this year it is reported that only 5% of adoptions are 13 years or older. This means that right now, when a youth is waiting in care, their chance to find a permanent home dwindles with every year they age. Each year it is estimated that approximately 1000 teenagers within Ontario age out of this same inhospitable system. - OACAS Ontario Association of Children Aids Society (2014).
Here is how this system adversely impacts our youth’s self-esteem and development…
“WE ARE VULNERABLE
WE ARE ISOLATED
WE ARE LEFT OUT OF OUR LIVES
NO ONE IS REALLY THERE FOR US
CARE IS UNPREDICTABLE
CARE ENDS AND WE STRUGGLE” (Pg 7 YLC)
“I have come to learn that the most imporatant things in life are family and permanency. Less changes in a youth-in-care’s life means more time to focus on something else like post-secondary education.”
“…looking back I know all the mistakes that went on within the system. As a child you don’t have a voice that is taken seriously by adults… I know now that I will do everything in my power to not turn out like my parents, the government. “
( Pg 9 YLC)
“Even though North American society stresses the importance of the individual, human nature has not changed… We need a social context…We live interdependently, not independently. If former youth in care are not lucky enough to have foster homes that keep doors open (in spite of getting no support from CAS) or to be adopted, or to have (re) established ties to their families, they might end up in unhealthy social contexts.” (Pg 11 YLC)