For anyone, the 18th birthday is a big deal. This is a turning point in any young person's life; you are an adult in the eyes of the law and society. If you are a foster youth though, turning 18 literally means you are on your own. The support you were getting from the State diminishes, if not completely disappears. If you don't have a permanent placement or family, you are cut off. There is no safety net.
So what can you, a foster youth, do? Mary Lee, a foster care alum and advocate for foster youth who age out, gives advice on how foster youth can prepare for their 18th birthday. In her Huffington Post blog titled, "Get Ready... Get Set... Four Things All Foster Youth Should Do Before They Turn 18" Mary provides a checklist for foster youth as they approach 18.
The checklist is great advice, and we encourage all foster youth to read the entire article. Below we have bullet pointed Mary's Checklist from the article and provided you with links to materials, articles and stories that can help you in your journey transitioning out of foster care, and can help you to #thrive.
- Plan like a demon
- Accentuate the positive (relationships that is)
Think big about your life
- Real Story: "Career Opportunities"
- Get all the details about "aging out" of the foster care system
The FosterClub Transition Toolkit is a great resource for any youth in foster care. It is designed to help foster youth gain perspective on their assets, develop plans for different paths in their life, build a network of supportive adults and take control of their life after foster care. Click here for more information and to see a virtual copy of the FosterClub Transition Toolkit. If you are a youth and want a hard copy of the Toolkit, please shoot us an email.