Former foster youth have a difficult life map to navigate. The have been thrust into communities from a system that has poorly prepared them for the future. It would be easy to blame the government or child welfare but it is really the fault of the community-at-large.
Somewhere in each former foster youth’s past, they were removed from their biological parent‘s care at no fault of their own. Each youth literally went from being a member of a family one day to being a member of the system the next. Following court proceedings, moves, shelter care, emergency homes and little focus on the child’s well-being, these children, now former foster youth, were placed in an alternative family system that was supervised by a taxed child welfare system.
Over the years of life as a foster child, each of the former youth we serve would have experienced multiple moves, multiple schools, multiple families and very few solid life-long relationships. As such, the system, including foster families, private agencies, child welfare departments, and other child-helping agencies, has let the majority of youth down.
Wise people have stated that the system you have in place is perfectly designed to achieve the results you are experiencing. This being true, our system is not serving foster children well enough to help them launch into adulthood. The outcomes prove we are failing. We are failing. When I say “we” I mean the collective “we” of society. We are failing.
The “we” include churches, individuals, schools, fraternal organizations, nonprofits, businesses, child welfare departments, and families. We need to act. We need to get involved in being a part of the solution and not the problem. One part of the solution is “life on life” mentoring or coaching relationships.
When you analyze your life and any successes you experienced, you will usually note one or more individuals that helped you along the way. These are the same folks that we need to emulate in relationships with former foster youth and current children in the system. No child should be left behind is a statement that must ring true in the current foster care and post-foster care system. To leave no child behind we must act. We must serve and we must give of our time, talent and treasure. The future depends on it.
I have a question and a challenge for you today. The question … “What can you do to help a foster child or former foster youth today?” The challenge … “Do what you can today!” It is time we stopped placing blame on the “system” and started searching for and building solutions. You don’t need a Master’s in Counseling or Social Work, you don’t need a license, you don’t need to be perfect. But, you do need to be available.
Who is Covenant?
Covenant Community Services, Inc. (Covenant) is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) social
service organization serving foster children, former foster youth and their families in Kern County and through replication efforts, the United States and the world. Covenant is meeting the needs of “hurting and hopeless” children/youth and families
through partnerships with local churches, community-based organizations,
individuals and businesses. Covenant exists to transform our community with the love
of Jesus Christ one child at a time!
We chose the name Covenant as we believe it reflects our attitude in our
relationship with those we serve and those we serve alongside. The word Covenant
is defined as “a solemn agreement that is binding on all parties; a promise or
pledge”. We consider it an honor to be in “covenant relationships” with the
social service community, the private sector, the faith community, our staff,
and the individuals, families and children we serve. We know that true
transformation can only occur as we, together, work towards solutions and hope.
Call 661-829-6999 for more information or go to www.covenantcs.net to learn more and find out ways to get involved in changing a child/youth’s future today!