New Faces of Homelessness: A Silent Epidemic

d in a child’s life.

The AFDC foster care paradigm is ending where another venue of social development is necessary to begin.  There are many in ministry and non-profit organizations looking to expand in developing programs relevant to the problematic condition of our society increasing in minority communities.   This matter of social displacement is where we can benefit by development of additional programs to save our children.  The basic premise of foster care development is excellent and serves a great purpose; but requires additional features to improve the system.

The recipients of foster care are still in need of guidance in adult living skills and a transitional support system to get them through the experiences that are common place with living on their own.   There are two non-profit organizations locally that the young ladies knew of which offered the type of supportive help they were looking for; 1) U Can Begin Again and 2) Butterfly Program (please go to www.gospelcntro.com to gain more information about these programs).  The U Can Begin Again Organization was featured in GospelCNTRO’s first issue, but as the statistics reveal there is a greater need The “Good News,” here is if you have spun ideas brainstorming on a program to develop  to gain federal funding through grant proposals this is a great avenue to research further.

Approximately 20 years ago the rise of foster care facilities increased, and similar concerns were researched.  An investigative report regarding the increase of AFDC foster care revealed an estimated monthly number of AFDC foster care almost doubling within the ten years researched from 1982-1992; now twenty years later covering 1992-2012 we remain lacking of data and therefore scant federal funding to address this growing social matter.

The same alarm over the belief that a disproportionate amount of former foster children suffered from homelessness, unemployment, and psychiatric problems resulted in some attention.  The development of a program in ’86 supporting Independent Living among former foster children, directly addressed the issue, close to thirty years ago.

The Foster Care programs were instilled as a permanent part of Title IV-E, yet there were no long-term studies available exploring all facets of the nationwide issues.   After further research conducted in 1992 the limited amount of data continues to stem a void of statistical validity due to poor gathering and recording of data.

The research aligns with self-sufficiency (homelessness, welfare dependency, etc.) determinants usually addressed in a psychologist review, but only to show a cause/effect relationship between foster care and poor social outcomes.

The psychological socialization methods that precipitate children into foster care are also used as determinants of despairing social outcomes.  Although, it is clear that society left without foster care presents a bleaker picture in the lives of the children, it is definite that the general foster care system alone is not enough and has not been for far too long.    Additional research found more updated reports revealing there has been little to no advancement in avoiding homelessness of foster youth aging out of the system.9 a discussmong a

The fact that homelessness is identified as a common experience awaiting foster care youth is particularly troubling because it is avoidable.  In the 2009 study it research revealed that each year, the number of those aging out of the system is approximately 26, 500 nationwide.  This information makes this a challenge of solvable proportions.

A problem which is not so large that you can’t reach out with minimum effort to solve remains an unclaimed responsibility by child welfare or homeless services.  These young people are left to fall between the two systems and any scope of concern, service eligibility guidelines, and available resources.

The stats on how many child welfare systems offer programs which support a transition out of care is minimal to non-existent.  The neglect of communities developing prevention programs support the increasing number of high risk homelessness among aging foster care youth.  We discovered a few studies performed on the ins and outs of eliminating homelessness after foster care.  The studies were conducted by The Larson Family Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation during March 31-April 1, 2009 along with others formed The Homelessness After Foster Care Gatheringii.

The Homelessness After Foster Care Gathering revealed a few models which are valuable in aiding in the development of your own program.   Please visit our website http://www.GospelCNTRO.com website to download this information if you are interested in developing a program, gathering needed stats for potential research projects, or retrieving government funding for project.

The Title IV-E act represents a permanent established law of government, and an addendum to Title IV-E to support this area of disenfranchisement is the missing next step. If we allow the numbers to speak the funds for the problem will manifest.  May God bless you to take this knowledge and grow.

Kayla and Kaprecca Weston, a former foster care youth, knows all too well the reality of having no support or assistance and the thoughts of homelessness after foster care.  The story of Kayla and Kaprecca Weston, former foster care youth with the potential to accomplish great things in life is shared in the next pages of the magazine.

I admonish you to see the blessing in these two ladies as potential blessings in others who are on their way to the same place but may not escape the socialize outcomes determined by the state appoint psychologists.

We recognize these faces but there are more…..

Kaprecca’s goal is to become a psychologist herself, and from that perspective she shares with us what she will do differently in the cases of in-care foster care youth.  Kayla Weston the oldest sister aged out of the system first.  She met some of the socialized determinants predicted by the psychologist as she entered the juvenile criminal institutions at a very young age.   You can read the stories of the stories of the two young ladies for yourself Kayla’s story on p. 25 Kaprecca’s story on p. 23  In the April issue of GospelCNTRO.com Magazine.

You are loved, blessed and anointed all we need to do is to walk in it.

Rev. Christene Duncan, a Servant of Lord

New Faces of Homelessness: A Silent Epidemic

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