“Fall seven times. Stand up eight.” – Japanese proverb
Preparing youth to transition from dependence to independence, into healthy and contributing members of society, might be one of the most important goals of the foster care system. Yet, this rarely happens. We must do a better job with transitioning children from foster care to independent living. We all know this is important, yet we fail at making sure this task is completed correctly. In my recently released workbook Succeeding as a Foster Child, I provide the roadmap needed. In the book, I provide the master transition plan and interactive resources needed for any foster child to succeed.
As a former foster child myself, I recognize there are key pieces of information that you must become familiar with. The first of which is the transition plan (otherwise known as an exit plan). Federal law requires that a caseworker, or another appropriate child welfare professional, provide youth with assistance and support in developing a transition plan to develop a youth-led, personalized plan that is as detailed as possible. Again, this rarely happens.
So, let me demonstrate how to make it happen. This is the second part in a series of articles with tools from my workbook – Succeeding as a Foster Child. Use the following information and images as tools to help a foster youth succeed. This series and my book can be used by social workers, foster parents, foster youth, child advocates, biological families, and of course . . . foster children.
“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them.” – Rabindranath Tagore
For many, being a foster child is an opportunity for a better life and a life of possibilities that you may not have had before. If done right, being part of the foster care system should be an opportunity. If you approach foster care in a certain way, it is really no different than receiving a scholarship or being accepted into an organization that provides personal development.
Whether you choose to believe it or not, being in a foster home can be a good experience. Think of your foster home as an opportunity to start over. In foster care you now have access to an abundant amount of resources. For example, you could potentially attend college for free! Take advantage of your time in foster care. Use the resources and experiences to help you grow. Remember, never let a catastrophe go to waste . . . find opportunity in every difficulty.
There is Opportunity in Every Difficulty
“He who travels has stories to tell.” – Gaelic proverb
Use the following steps and embrace every opportunity that presents itself to you.
1. Utilize the opportunity of foster care for your benefit. Find a quiet area to focus on the possibilities.
2. Briefly think about your past. Consider a life without the poor circumstances; you have just entered that new life.
3. Focus on your future goals in life. Do not think about the past anymore.
The following are actual tools from Chapter 2: Embrace Opportunity found in Succeeding as a Foster Child: A Workbook.
“Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” – Emile Coue
Areas for Growth
“Success does not come through grades, degrees, or distinctions. It comes through experiences that expand your belief in what is possible.” – Matea