Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Teens emancipated from foster care.

On Thursday evening Eddie and I (along with our cell group) are heading to downtown Denver to provide a home-cooked meal homeless youth, Street Kids, as they call themselves. I'm looking forward to it, but it's got me thinking.

One of the saddest parts of foster care, one of its most glaring failures, are the kids that are emancipated without ever finding permanent homes. They are very likely to end up homeless, or poverty stricken. They often have mental illnesses, or end up in jail. For them the phrase "independent living" is an oxymoron. To live independently, to live without a family or community, isn't really living at all.

Permanancy is part of the solution. Kids NEED families. But already there are a bunch of street kids who's lives, statistically speaking, are headed exactly no where. They've been screwed by the system. They've failed-out, or aged-out of every program under the sun. Their families have forsaken them. Many have mental illnesses or attachment disorders. Many have learned street skills to survive, street skills that are useful on the streets, but don't help in the least when they are looking for employment.

I look at all the statistics, and I am tempted to throw in the towel. How does a situation like that get healed? Is there a road that leads to wholeness?

There is; I've got to believe there is.

But I'd say it's almost impossible without Christ.

1 comment:

Brianna Heldt said...

I know, it is horribly sad. I just heard that 70% of the prison population were in the foster care system at some point. Sigh.

My heart breaks for these children. It's not fair, and it's not right.