How Do Young People in Foster Care Define Normalcy?
“I believe normalcy is allowing foster care youth to have the same opportunities as those children living with biological parents. Too often there is a stigma attached to the term ‘foster care’ and the children that come from it. The world seems to believe that foster care is where the difficult or criminal children go, but that is far from the truth. Normalcy is trying to let kids like me live as close to a regular and normal life as they can with the situation they are in.” —Former foster youth
Young people in foster care often understand why they entered the system. They usually can make sense of the complexities that prevented them from remaining in their homes. But what may be hardest for these young people to understand is the lack of everyday experiences and relationships with families and friends readily available to peers who aren’t in foster care — opportunities that are frequently difficult to ensure because of requirements imposed by child welfare systems.
These young people need normal and healthy experiences, which include positive relationships and activities — such as getting a driver’s license or taking on a summer job. But while such experiences tend to be out of reach because of liability concerns, they are milestone experiences young people need to become successful adults.
Through this report by the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, young people who are in, or have been in, foster care offer their insights and aspirations to help guide the actions of child welfare systems as they seek to provide more normal experiences for these youth.
This report illustrates exactly why CASA’s Milton Foster Children’s Fund exists.
A valuable read: http://www.jimcaseyyouth.org/…/FINAL%20AEC_Normalcy%20r8.pdf