Normalcy. Normalcy was something I was told I couldn't have because of my status as a foster youth. And there was so many aspects of this term that I lacked because of being in foster care. It was something I struggled with almost every day and it took an emotional toll on my well being. It seemed Iike every answer to every question was the two letter word that we all hate hearing- "no".
Can I live with my family?
Can I have a safe environment to live in?
Can I go the same school before I was taken away?
Can I spend the night at a friends house?
Getting court ordered to live in a group home because there is not available foster homes is not normal.
Being told that you can't go to Becky's Birthday Bash because she doesn't have a criminal background check on file isn't quite normal either.
And finally, attending 5 different middle schools in a span of three years because of moving to different foster homes and being taken away doesn't paint the six letter word- Normal.
These are some of the basic setbacks that foster youth often face with trying to have a normal childhood but can't because of policies, situations, and court orders that prohibit even the slightest chance of normalcy.
Because of low expectations that society has for foster youth, restrictions strain their ability to live a typical life. For example the stigma that foster youth are more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system may concern people and are less likely to give them "benefit of the doubt"
Or because we are often labeled with bad behavior problems, adults are more likely to just give up on us.
But in order to successfully over trump the stereotypes and lack of a typical life, we need that seven letter word "support". Foster youth need guidance and help when it comes to obtaining what most of us are told we can't have when being in foster care. We need to be advocated for, be given the best of resources as possible, and have our intermediate people believe in us despite any pre-labels that comes with being in care. That way we can finally have that eight letter word, "Normalcy"
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