Here’s a NOT so fun fact about “our” foster care system that many of you know but some don’t. And I say our system because it’s not “their” or “my” or “your” foster care system. The problem belongs to “ALL” of us whether we believe it or not. At age 18 the kids in the foster care system just “age out.” The end of their journey in the foster care system. Do we have organizations in place that try to help kids in this situation? Yes! Organization like @ComfortCases are doing a tremendous job. Is it enough? No! Have a few places made arrangements to try to assist kids until they’re 21? A few, but not near enough. 20% of the children who were in the foster care system at some point instantly are homeless. That means one in five kids who are currently “in the system” will be on their own with no family at age 18. One in five! Boom – on their own overnight! Happy 18th Birthday, here are your things in a black garbage bag, best wishes and don’t call us, we’ll call you. Our family has dealt with this situation so many times it would make your head spin and never gets any easier. We think they have the ability to figure it all out and make major life decisions: find a place to live, have food for 3 meals a day, get a job, transportation, open a bank account (which you need an address to do) etc. We’re kidding each other if we think that’s going to happen. My heart aches for kids without a mom or dad, but especially this age group. I think that’s why I’ve been so passionate about older kids in foster care. I know when they are offered hope and opportunity it can change their life. Please allow me to introduce Maribel. She has 4 more years and she then will be included in the statistics and situations that we have just discussed. Her urgency is real!
Maribel is 14 and lives in Florida. She is a little more reserved when you first meet her. She can be shy, but once she opens up, she is one of the sweetest, most caring children you will ever meet. She is smart, does well in school and is described by her friends as funny and nice. Maribel is someone who will always bring a smile to your face and is easy to be around. She wants to be part of a family setting and is very anxious to find her Forever Family. She is strong, resilient and doesn’t let her past define her or hold her back from accomplishing her goals. She has a lot of love to give and wants to share that with parents. And future pets! Let’s help find this young lady a home and ensure that she does not become a statistic.❤For more information please contact Heart Gallery of Tampa at 813-314-2021