That’s my translation of this headline: ” Many states cut off foster youth at 18″
SAN FRANCISCO – Anthony Pico qualifies as an expert on foster care after spending 18 years in California’s program. And he says it’s far from perfect.
But staying in the system and receiving financial help as long as possible would be much better than being cast adrift, said Pico, who took part in a broad discussion of foster care at a meeting of the American Bar Association.
“I’m an adult, but I don’t want to move out. I don’t want to start paying rent. If I stay in until I’m 19 or 20, I’ll be more stable and maybe I won’t repeat the cycle,” Pico explained at a weekend session of foster care experts and advocates at the ABA conference.
Pico, who lives in transitional housing in San Francisco, provides a human face to a problem that frustrates the social workers, lawyers and judges who work with foster children.
Many states cut off support for foster care youth when they turn 18, even though most people that age continue to receive financial help from their families.
And even when states do extend help, the children who have been in the foster care system often decline the aid.
So, according to this article, the problem is two-fold:
- Foster kids are being expected to take care of themselves upon reaching adulthood.
- Foster kids often to want continued aid from the state.
My question is this: Why are either of these problems…problems?
First, all government policies (and especially those aimed at children) should promote independence among this nation’s citizens. We aren’t promoting independence when we swaddle young adults in a blanket of government welfare.
Second, if these foster kids don’t want aid from the state why in the world would we try to shove it down their throats? Again, the goal is independence, not dependence. Though I’m sure most bureaucrats and politicians would love for us all to be dependent on their programs. All the better to manipulate the way we live our lives, right?