On the surface, the first five years of my life looked wonderful as I had the loving support of my parents and siblings. However, my mother’s schizophrenia affected my father, a Vietnam War veteran, who resorted to alcohol to handle the stress of caring for a mentally ill spouse. I was removed from my family and set adrift from foster home to foster home for eight years. I felt alone and confused, continually moving without a stable environment with no permanent family and no sense of security.
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.