What happens when a foster child becomes 18. As I understand it and I’m not quite there yet but once a foster child becomes 18 we are no longer legally a looked after child and the placement with their foster family can no longer be classed as a foster placement. So, what happens, I imagine the transition from being in care to living independently is challenging and difficult. Before this transition takes place, foster carers could help by setting boundaries, chores, and giving us responsibilities this in turn can help us grow into responsible adults. A good foster placement should teach their foster child the skills they need to live on their own. I believe the following should be part of a check list for all foster parents.

  • Cooking Skills
  • Managing Money and Creating a Budget
  • Health Care
  • Education
  • Cleaning Skills
  • Learning to do your own Laundry
  • Simple things like changing a light bulb
  • Remind us the door is always open.

Leaving care can be scary, as foster children we have already been through so much but it’s really important that this crucial stage should be dealt with in a positive way. Create a safe and comfortable environment to allow us to discuss our fears. Support, encourage and be realistic about the future this will help alleviate some of the stresses that lay ahead. Buy practical gifts, help with university and employment. Take in the roll as mentor and help your foster child become the best version of themselves.

Local authorities do still have responsibilities to make sure we are supported we may be given a personal advisor who will help us find a place to live and encourage us through this transition, this is called a Pathway plan. There is also a setting up home allowance that can help us buy essential things when moving into our own place. The personal advisor should visit every 6 months to ensure everything is going to plan. I believe there are other options for post18 living arrangements and all these options should be looked into and explained in depth so we as foster children can be part of the decision making on what is best for us. The other option of course and if you are able is staying put which means you can stay where you are, I know I am lucky and have a home for as long as I want to with my foster family.

Whatever you choose make sure it’s the right thing for you and take all the help and advice you can get. The Nameless Onion

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