Why Foster Care Should Extend to 21 Years to Ensure Successful Transition into Adulthood
These are the children who are forced into the orphan or foster care system where we promise to ensure their safety. But with neglect and ill-funding, is this the reality? According to academic studies, Australia has one of the best foster care systems, but how is this true when only 310 children had their adoption ﬁnalised in 2018. Making less than 1% of those who are forced into this corrupt system, which is supposed to keep children safe, So what happens to the others? The remaining children continue to change famrlies, changing homes and customs. Consider the emotional and phycological impact that these children go through due to the mental impact on a growing adolescent brain. How can we fix this problem when our government slowly decreases the funding each year, therefore preventing the care of these individuals?
These children are ignored, and hundreds trying to reach out because the system is abusing them. Emily was placed into the care of two experienced. kind and perfect foster parents, but this couldn’t be further away from the truth. Emily has a disability and was vulnerable to their scheme, she trusted them but they continued to prey on her, sexually and physically abusing her when no one was at home. What’s worse, Child services were aware of these allegations, but they chose to ignore it, believing the husband and wife over the victim. It took years, and Emily continued to experience neglect and Violence People say corrupt is a big word, but how can we use another when these children go through pain that NO individual should ever go through.
This is a Violation, and it has to stop. However, this isn’t the only problem. With financial foster care benefits ending at the age of 18, foster parents are required to release their foster children due to financial difficulty. This means that these teenagers are often abandoned without a degree. Lob or a place to live. Most children are excited. to turn 18 and become an adult. But how do you think it feels for foster children? Knowing they have to work TWICE as hard to become successful, fighting the chance that they might end up homeless. How can we be comfortable knowing that 60% of homeless people have had time in foster care, proving that our system continues to force these children into homelessness.
Take the example of Dan, He was 18 when he was cut off by his foster family He spent his first night as an adult in a public bathroom. As a society we try to provide homeless shelters for these youths, but according to Dan he felt more comfortable sleeping in a toilet, rather than live with people double and triple his age, He didn’t have the chance to get a place to live, landlords would refuse to give him the properties because he had no known jobs, education or rental record. But he was not the only one, he is homeless along with the other 40%_who were sent into poverty because of this neglected system. In us, Ms Scott, a well know politician, experienced a corrupt system. She was homeless months after being released by her foster family.
This may be in America, but it shows the ineffective assistance of foster children. These children are not taught how to handle ﬁnance, fill out a job application or pay rent. In this case she was not taught basic life skills. Our government and soual organizations have come up with some strategies to solve this problem, but this is not enough! We need to abolish the idea of youths being forced into poverty before they don’t have a chance. Centrelink benefits has attempted to provide financial support, but according to these youths, only 1% find the prices affordable, even With the support of Centrelink benefits.
So how do we fix this problem? We have established that these children are released at 18, so why don ‘t we raise the age to 21? The age of 21 allows for these teens to fulfill their education and decrease the chance of an increased homeless population. To heighten the release age of foster systems, the government will have to provide funding for adults for an extra 3 years in order lor these foster parents to financially support their adopted children. Now you might say that increasing the funding is too difficult, with economic difficulties it is a waste of time. But our government has extra funding, that they are happy to use on destroying the environment and families, through environmental damage, construction and pointless projects. which usually end up impact the health of the population.
Despite this, we need to recognise the extra benefits of increasing the age to 21, by doing this not only do we save the life of these individuals. but we decrease the homeless population by more than 20%. This is something that we have been trying to do, but the cheapest and most obvious way of doing this is to eliminate the homeless youth. and the most achievable way of doing this is increasing the age to 21, so that individuals can still be able to adopt life strategies so they are prepared to be released. Funding-wise, our government funds $1.173 each year for foster parents, However, by increasmg the age, the government will only have to fund another $195 million. This seems like a lot, however. to build homeless shelters to support the 20% will cost $1546 million.
Compared to spending 1365 million dollars to raise the age. The government will save $181 million. Our government has asked for a cheap solution, and here it is. Not only will it prevent homelessness, but it is a cheaper solution that will not put us in economic debt. It is a lie, to say these children are kept safe when hundreds ol foster children are assaulted, V2 are emotionally abused and majority are neglected. These children are clinging to hope, taken away from everything. and this is how we treat them? I’ve evaluated the solution. and its up to us to change their future. Fight for their rights, Because this system needs to be torn down, before we can improve their life, so that we can assure them that they have the same chance, everyone else has.