Fall is a tough time for any parent of a teen (let's face it, all four seasons are tough for most parents of teens! ; ) But for those whose children will head off to college - or a job elsewhere - or the military - August is a rough month. We try to brace ourselves for the onset of loneliness, of missing our 'baby,' of having to live with not knowing if they're home by midnight, by 2am, even by 6am! We have to let go of all of our protective tendencies and inclinations.
We do a good job of providing support to DCFYI participants, including those who age out of foster care. Most stay connected with both the larger community and individual adults long into adulthood.
But we worry about some of those who leave us. Teens leave DCFYI for various reasons. Some return to birth family or have an adoptive family. We are always happy when that happens.
Others leave because they don't think they need adult support or more people in their lives. We worry those will remain in foster care until they "age out" to adulthood without support.
I have had the privilege to intern with Family & Youth Initiative for the month of May and the experience was greater than I ever could have imagined. I have a personal connection to children of adoption and foster care as I was adopted from Russia when I was just a baby. I have been fortunate to be loved and cared for, however, I was never aware of the harder side to adoption/ foster care till now. My high school gave all the seniors a project, which was to go out into the “real world” and learn how we could contribute in it. This is where I found DCFYI.