On Wednesday, May 9, 2018 we hosted our #FosterChat on Twitter (@SaintAorg), in partnership with the Coalition for Children, Youth & Families and Courage MKE. May’s topic was on Youth Transitioning to Adulthood. According to our Twitter snapshot on Union Metrics, our twitter chat had nearly 215,000 potential impressions, reaching 38,529 people.
If you missed this month’s #FosterChat, you can join us next month as we discuss LGBTQ+ Foster Youth on Wednesday, June 13 at Noon (CST) with special guest, the Cream City Foundation. Below is our recap of this month’s chat.
Q1: Why is it important for youth to have continued support and services provided as they transition to adulthood?
A1: The transition to adulthood and self-sufficiency can be challenging for any young person. Living on one’s own can be quite demanding. Generally, youth who have experienced foster care do not have the same safety nets and support networks as others their age. #FosterChat— SaintA (@SaintAorg) May 9, 2018
A1: Family is forever, not just until you turn 18, you need continued support and guidance as you enter the next phase of your life. A place to come home to for the holidays, on weekends, someone to call when you need support, all of that! #FosterChat— Coalition for CYF (@CoalitionforCYF) May 9, 2018
A1: Continued support is crucial when transitioning to adulthood because there are big decisions that will need to be made such as; managing finances, dealing with peer pressure, battling the ideas of being an adult and what they “should” be able to do regardless of repercussions https://t.co/JOKejDh9k7— Courage MKE (@Courage_MKE) May 9, 2018
A1.b: Having support allows them to have someone to bounce these ideas off to allow them to have the facts as well as understand any consequences that may follow any of their decisions. #FosterChat https://t.co/JOKejDh9k7— Courage MKE (@Courage_MKE) May 9, 2018
A1: Truth is, no one is ready to be on their own at 18. We all still needed support and someone to help us along life's journey. #fosterchat— Lamar X (@LamarXcks) May 9, 2018
Q2: What are the barriers youth face as they transition to adulthood?
A2.b: They struggle with obtaining safe and affordable housing and healthcare. Many lack supportive connections to people who will guide them and continue to work on independent living life skills. #FosterChat— SaintA (@SaintAorg) May 9, 2018
A2: Not having a place to stay/access to housing. Employment/a source of income. Healthcare or health insurance. The fear that once they turn 18 they will be alone in life. #FosterChat— Coalition for CYF (@CoalitionforCYF) May 9, 2018
A2: A)Being alone: They’ve been through some traumatic experiences. Thankfully, they have had Social Workers and Foster Parents that have helped them cope with some of these traumas. Now, as they begin to age out of the system, they will be alone for the first time. #FosterChat https://t.co/hdTwVi2Dx8— Courage MKE (@Courage_MKE) May 9, 2018
A2.b: B)The unknown: For the first, they will be completely responsible for themselves. If they did not have the support and/or family to teach them the responsibilities of being an adult, it can be a very overwhelming experience for them. #FosterChat https://t.co/hdTwVi2Dx8— Courage MKE (@Courage_MKE) May 9, 2018
A2 Without a safety net in place via positive informal and formal supports it can be so overwhelming #FosterChat— Socialworkcommunity (@socialworkcomm) May 9, 2018
Q3: What is the importance of employment and continued education for youth agin out of foster care?
A3: Youth who age out of foster care are less likely than youth in the general population to graduate from high school (and less likely to attend college)… which impacts their ability to gain appropriate employment to properly live and care for themselves. #FosterChat— SaintA (@SaintAorg) May 9, 2018
A3: Employment and education are the foundation to becoming a successful adult. They will provide youth with so many opportunities. #fosterchat— Coalition for CYF (@CoalitionforCYF) May 9, 2018
A3: It's important they learn the responsibilities of having a job, complete high school and attend some post HS education. Learning how far the money THEY earned will take them teaches that. Continuing their education will take them further in the career they choose. #FosterChat— Courage MKE (@Courage_MKE) May 9, 2018
Q4: How can we support youth with housing and life-skills development as they age out of foster care?
A4.b: The youth should also be given resources so that when they turn 18 they can apply for assistance as needed; whether that includes FoodShare, low-income housing or healthcare. #FosterChat— SaintA (@SaintAorg) May 9, 2018
A4: Providing information on where to seek assistance, model behavior–show them what to do, how to set up a home, how to budget, etc. Talking often about independent living skill. #fosterchat— Coalition for CYF (@CoalitionforCYF) May 9, 2018
A4: As adults, many of us still have mentors in our lives that we continuously use as resources to bounce ideas off of. We think that if each child was assigned an adult mentor that they can build a relationship with and know they can call at any moment for guidance …— Courage MKE (@Courage_MKE) May 9, 2018
A4.b: support or just to be someone to chat with when something triggers an emotion can be very valuable to their growth and development as an adult. #FosterChat— Courage MKE (@Courage_MKE) May 9, 2018
A4. Partner with schools, community centers, etc to facilitate classes to teach youth life skills. Additionally, mentor, build relationships with youth. @pamparish Connections Homes is a great ex that adults 18 are receptive to having mentors. #fosterchat— Vivian Taylor (@TayloredLooks) May 9, 2018
Q5: How can we help youth address their health concerns as they transition to adulthood?
A5: Youth who have experienced abuse/neglect/out-of-home care are at increased risk for health problems and chronic illnesses. They need to learn how to maintain good health habits, secure health insurance, and access needed health and mental health services. #FosterChat— SaintA (@SaintAorg) May 9, 2018
A5: The first thing we need to do is make sure we are being very open and honest with explaining all aspects of their health such as; how our bodies change as we get older, sexually transmitted diseases, risks of not seeing a physician regularly, and being open to listen….— Courage MKE (@Courage_MKE) May 9, 2018
A5.b: to understand their concerns. We need to teach these young adults all of the risks and not wait for them to come up unexpectedly. By doing so we continue to build trust and healthy relationships with them and they learn how to care for themselves. #FosterChat— Courage MKE (@Courage_MKE) May 9, 2018
A5 Help them develop a positive relationship with their primary doctor so that relationship can continue and be a support in adulthood #FosterChat— Socialworkcommunity (@socialworkcomm) May 9, 2018
Q6: Why are caring connections so important for youth transitioning to adulthood?
A6: Research tells us that youth are more likely to succeed if they are exposed to protective factors—conditions that buffer risks and improve the likelihood of future positive outcomes. The greatest of these is a close relationship with a caring adult. #FosterChat— SaintA (@SaintAorg) May 9, 2018
A6. We all need a cheerleader in our corner; being an adult is hard work! #fosterchat— Coalition for CYF (@CoalitionforCYF) May 9, 2018
A6: We believe that a child is not able to work on themselves until they are able to be themselves. Caring connections w/ adults that respect, love and care for them as they are is going to help fill their hearts and allow them to focus on being amazing young adults. #FosterChat— Courage MKE (@Courage_MKE) May 9, 2018
A6: Relationships help create resiliency. Everyone needs a person! #fosterchat— NicholeMarie (@NicholeMarie723) May 9, 2018
Q7: When youth age out of foster care without the necessary supports, what is the potential impact?
A7: The impact of youth aging out of foster care not only impacts them as individuals (and their surrounding community) but by not having the support they need, it could limit the potential for change on a societal level too. #FosterChat— SaintA (@SaintAorg) May 9, 2018
A7: Without necessary support, we are setting them up for failure. They are still learning about life and life skills. Without support, we run the risk of them falling into a cycle that we believe they want to break…..— Courage MKE (@Courage_MKE) May 9, 2018
A7.b: Just because a child turns 18 does not mean we can dust off our hands. This is the time we roll up our sleeves and help mold them into our future leaders. #FosterChat— Courage MKE (@Courage_MKE) May 9, 2018
Q8: Share a resource that can help youth transitioning to adulthood?
A8: #GRiDMKE was designed specifically for youth in foster care in mind. It contains hundreds of resources in the areas of education, employment, health, and housing as well as basic or emergency needs, like food and clothing pantries. #FosterChat https://t.co/zL6mdFb20R— SaintA (@SaintAorg) May 9, 2018
A8: @PathfindersMKE has a wonderful program called Q-Block designed to assist young adults, aged 18 – 25 and identify as LGBTQ+. Their program provides critical services that include supportive housing and financial assistance, and case management support, ….— Courage MKE (@Courage_MKE) May 9, 2018
A8. Harmony Homes Akron, OH provides housing to young adult men 18-26. Please check them out! #fosterchat— Vivian Taylor (@TayloredLooks) May 9, 2018
Thank you to everyone that shared such thoughtful answers during our chat! We look forward to seeing you again in June!
Learn more about becoming a foster parent at GrowHope.net!
Thank you to everyone that could make it to today's #FosterChat on Youth Transitioning to Adulthood with @CoalitionforCYF and special guest @Courage_MKE!— SaintA (@SaintAorg) May 9, 2018
Keep an eye out for our recap tomorrow.
On June 13 we'll discuss LGTBQ+ Foster Youth with @CCFMKE – hope to see you then! pic.twitter.com/BLF8NfLyi5