Does The Michigan Foster System Fail The Kids Aging Out? (Pt 1)

January 15, 2020 Abuse and Neglect Attorney
A young adult (or older teen) standing on the tracks of a railway line in front of a bridge.

There has always been a strong sentiment surrounding the fact that kids in foster care get a raw deal. They lose their families, get bumped around from stranger’s home to stranger’s home with very few of their own belongings, and they have little in the way of stability. It’s a rough life and many foster kids struggle, in part because of the abuse and neglect they may have suffered at the hands of their parents, but also because the system designed to protect them often creates a whole host of other problems for them to overcome. 

One of those problems is lack of support once they’re “out”

For most kids, once they reach the age of 18 they either head off to college, stay home and get jobs, or move out and find work to support themselves. But in almost all of those cases, their parents and other family members are still an integral part of their support system. When they’re in need of advice, emotional support, or even just a hearty meal, they can come back home. However, foster kids don’t have “homes” to go back to in most cases. So where do they go when they need help and support?

Foster kids don’t have support systems in place for transitioning into adulthood

A foster child who reaches the age of 18 is aged out of the system. They are now legally an adult and are no longer eligible for financial and other supports from the state. Which means that in many cases, they have to move out of the foster homes where they were living, and into whatever independent living situation can be arranged. But transitioning into adulthood is rife with pitfalls, and kids need help along the way. Especially kids aging out of a system that stops proving for them overnight as they kit adulthood.

Foster kids don’t have networks of supportive adults to advise them

Things like buying cars, finding decent living accommodations, budgeting, applying for college, getting a job – these are all major decisions that should be made with help and support from mentors, and other invested adults who care. But most foster kids don’t have those relationships in place as they’re aging out of the system. Very few foster kids develop lasting relationships with the caregivers in the foster homes they stay in, so once they’re “out of the system” they have no adults available to answer questions, provide guidance, or dispense sound advice. 

Foster care is no place for a child if they have a loving family

While we’ll be the first to acknowledge that child abuse and neglect are very real issues, and many children are at risk. However, we also know that many parents who lose their kids to the foster system are actually devoted moms and dads just doing their best. And that’s where we come in. As child abuse defense attorneys, we help loving parents fight to keep their families together. 

At The Kronzek Firm, we believe in keeping families together!

We are experienced pro-parent attorneys and believe very strongly that, whenever possible, children should stay with their parents. So if you’ve been accused of abuse or neglect and you’re worried about losing your child to the foster system, call 866 766 5245 right now to get help! And don’t forget to join us next time for the wrap up of this article on how the foster system fails kids aging out. It might be a sad topic to read about, but it’s very important, and impacts thousands of Michigan’s future parents and workforce members every year!