Youth foster care is something we read about, but for many, there has never been a personal involvement. More and more, children seem to be taken from their biological families, and then spend the next years being moved from place to place with no sense of permanency or opportunity to develop attachments.
Nearly half the foster kids in the US become homeless when they turn 18. Our guests today on Not Alone told us about the National Foster Youth Action Network, an organization that inspires foster youth to look out for the younger ones coming behind, as well as how to advocate for changes in the system that encourages reunification with families as early as possible, or, when that might not be an option, how to move forward with positive expectations for developing skills that lead to success in adulthood.
Janet Knipe and Nicole Demedenko encourage states to help parents develop the parenting skills and behavior changes needed to keep their children home safely. When this is not possible, foster kids find value and meaning in peer groups with other young adults who also experienced foster care. They become extended family and encourage one another to finish school, achieve career goals, and learn healthy family relationships. Foster kids have a tough road to travel and they can find encouragement with peer groups.
To learn more about youth foster care and listen to the April 19 Not Alone program, click on the button below, or download the file and listen later. To listen to past broadcasts, visit The Kim Foundation Web site Not Alone podcast page.
Airing every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. (CST on station KCRO, channel 660 AM based out of Omaha, Neb.), Not Alone is a live talk radio program focused on behavioral health and recovery. Developed by The Kim Foundation through the support of C&A Industries, Inc., Not Alone works to reduce the stigma often associated with mental illness. The show seeks to assure individuals, families, and communities that they are not alone, mental illness affects us all, hosting a variety of guest from across the country.