Young People Reveal Holes in the Foster Care Safety Net

March 4, 2016 /

New America Media, News Feature, Text: Andrew Lam/Video: Edgardo Cervano-Soto,

Liberty Dycus, 23, who was adopted from Ethiopia as a child, ended up in foster care after being abused. She says that when she emancipated at 19, she “never felt more alone.”

She wishes there had been “someone who’d said, ‘Let’s make a plan for you. Let’s get you in the right direction.’” Instead, like some other former foster youth during their transitional years, she became homeless.

She eventually went into transitional housing, and was able to find a job and go back to school. But, she says, “I’m still learning. It’s hard to know the right move to make at 21.”

Reforms to the foster system have gone into effect in California since Dycus emancipated, which might have smoothed her transition to adulthood – Assembly Bill 12 now lets youth stay in foster care until age 21.

Read more here.