Foster Youth with Disabilities

How many people do know that came from an adopted home? What about a foster home that had more than one child in it? What about a foster home that was able to handle a foster child with a disability?

These are issues that many people in our communities, including politicians and local government agencies don’t seem to pay much attention to or think impact individuals in their own hometowns.

When an individual is raised in a foster care setting and does not have access to the resources of a traditional family during their early developmental process, it not only changes the way that individual sees society, but also how the world views that person for the rest of that person’s life.

This is especially true for someone in foster care that might have an emotional or physical disability and feels that they are alone. A report that was recently done by and United Cerebral Palsy found that over 40% of the kids who go into foster care system become dependent on government aid and do not further their education. I can vouch for that outcome as an ex-foster youth myself; this is very scary and terrifying statistic not only on a economic level but also because the data is showing it is getting worse. These youth will be our labor force in the years to come, parents to the next generation of Americans or worse they may become the majority of our prison population because the negative behaviors that they learn in their youth are behaviors that they continue to have in adulthood.

This situation and outcome can be even worse for foster youth that have a disability. All most one 1 in 3 youth in foster care have some type of disability, either emotional, physical from birth or from actions of other people. This number is huge because anyone that knows what it is like to have a disability knows that a stable and reliable support system is one of the key elements to help with day to day life and when a person doesn’t even have that it makes for a very, very tough road in the long run. So please if you have someone you know that has been in foster care and has a disability let them know you are proud of them because sometimes they need to hear from a stranger.