what it means to age out
The transition event, for a youth who has never found placement, is called “aging out.” This moment can be adaptive and hold promise, or fulfill a cycle of abandonment. A youth may at last learn to build relationships or forever place them wistfully at arm’s length. Self-sufficiency either becomes a liberating skill, or the lack of it becomes lifelong self-recrimination. Mostly, it’s a time of peril. Financial aid halts: you are on your own. Find a job. Buy food. Find shelter and transportation. Pretend that you are not scared.
by the numbers *
* National Foster Youth Institute, NFYI.org
and a quote...
“Transitioning out of foster care is a hugely emotionally and psychologically overwhelming thing... on one hand they really want to be on their own, and on the other hand, they’re terrified.”
- Cynthia White, Project Director,
Hawaii Foster Youth Coalition