Aging out: voices from those in the foster care system
Video Created By Los Angeles Times Editors
Their stories begin with heartbreak. A family unable or unwilling to care for them. Parents dead, addicted to drugs, absent. About 400,000 children in the U.S. live in foster care, according to federal officials. Entry into the foster care system is meant to keep them safe, but the reality is often fraught with its own dangers and disappointments. Times photojournalist Robert Gauthier interviewed more than a dozen young men and women from the Los Angeles area who were on the verge of being emancipated from foster care or had recently aged-out of “the system.” Many fight a daily battle to shed the label of “system kid.” Often they are ill-prepared to survive on their own, let alone succeed. They talked to The Times about their past, as well as their dreams for the future. Asked to describe themselves in one word, they answered “survivor,” “driven,” “adaptable.”
SAFELY PREVENT YOUNG ADULTS FROM BECOMING HOMELESS
Liberty Dwelling serves as an additional resource in our community to agencies such as the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), Lafourche Parish School Board, Terrebonne Parish School Board, Hope Restored For Life, and Options for Independence. We are working with these agencies in an effort to help keep our foster care children from experiencing homelessness once they turn 18.
Support long-term investments in young adults
We are partnered with skilled individuals/groups who are willing to teach and mentor young adults the life skills they need to help them to become well-rounded individuals who are physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, and spiritually sound.
PROVIDE A CLEAN, SAFE, SECURE PLACE
We provide a safe and secure home with all of the basic amenities,giving these young women the stable foundation needed to reach their full potential.
Encourage a shared vision for success
We encourage community and state leaders to join us in our vision to improve the lives of the less fortunate. Aswell as educate the community on the significance of reducing homelessness in our area.
We provide a safe home-environment in which these young women will be guided in daily household duties, including cooking, cleaning, and other essential life skills. We will assist them in continuing their education, whether it be finishing high school, entering college or trade school. Liberty Dwelling will guide these young women in obtaining gainful employment within our local community, by helping them in securing transportation, teaching resume-writing, and interviewing skills. Liberty Dwelling also helps them to find and obtain any outside resources needed, such as counseling, spiritual advice, financial, and medical services.