Knowing What You Know About Foster Care, Would You Become a Mentor? (by Guest Writer Ashley LaBore, PCC)

In today’s society I really don’t understand why people are completely able to judge something without knowing anything about it. Throughout the United States there are over 500,000 kids in foster care in need of a home and a small part of why they haven’t found a home is because some people are stereo typing and thinking that foster children are delinquents and irresponsible and some unsafe. How do you feel when people judge you without giving you even a chance to talk or some even meet you and judge on hearsay? Not good right? Well I am sure that these children emphasize children feel the same way.

Ignoring things will not make them go away. You ignore something long enough usually nothing good comes out of it. By ignoring these children in foster care there are “20,000 youths that  get “aged out” (meaning they turn 18) or emancipated from foster care each year, and within the first 18 months of emancipation up to 50% of former foster youth become homeless, where they are subject to financial, mental, physical and social stress.”(Parra,) These are not good things, just imagine if just ONE person took time out of their lives to teach a teenage the means of a dollar or how to get a job or even tell them the importance to do well in school. There are too many homeless people out there that if we could help just one maybe we could actually change someone’s life. You never know maybe they will change yours!

Mentoring a child or youth can make a world of difference. “A relationship with a mentor can thus become a “corrective experience” for those adolescents who have experienced unsatisfactory relationships with their parents and can facilitate more positive peer relationships” (Olds, Kitzman, Cole, & Robinson, 1997). This was one of the most positive things that I have come across and it really opened my eyes. These kids didn’t do anything their parents did and they need someone positive in their lives to know that not all people are like their parents and life isn’t all like what they have seen. Haven’t you heard that the kids are our future? Well if you haven’t they are and if these children keep aging out then what kind of future is out there for them or ourselves?

I have heard to many times in my life that one voice can’t make a difference in today’s world, well I beg to differ. Since I started looking into foster mentoring I have become a mentor for foster children, got my husband to mentor, got my best friends husband to mentor and possible found a home for a foster child. All this was done by finding out what I didn’t know and not jumping to conclusions. I have read so many children’s charts and what they have been through and it makes me sad. Because of stereo types some kids that have been through things I don’t want to mention are in foster care by no fault of their own. The most hart wrenching thing I have learned through all this was that being a mentor I am actually the only person in this child’s life that isn’t paid to be! Think about how you would feel. I plan to keep spreading the word and just hanging out with these kids. This is just the beginning for me and my family and hopefully the beginning of other peoples as well.

 

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4 thoughts on “Knowing What You Know About Foster Care, Would You Become a Mentor? (by Guest Writer Ashley LaBore, PCC)

  1. Pingback: Knowing What You Know About Foster Children, Would You Become a Mentor? (Research Collection & Public Writing by Ashley LaBore) | Citizen Writers

  2. Ashley,

    I really appreciate your service to the children who are in foster care. You are certainly an advocate for those children, getting more mentors to be of service. My parents tried for many years to have me and in the mean time, before I was born, they opened up their home to all sorts of kids in need of a temporary place to live. One of the most difficult things they dealt with was the kids leaving their care. I also have an aunt-in-law who is a foster parent to the most troubled youths the “system” has. These kids are almost all within 6 months of being “aged out” They come over to the house for holiday celebrations and family gatherings. They are, without exception, all very polite and courteous every time I interact with them.
    I think the advantage to mentoring is that you get to see them beyond their foster placement. The dynamic of the relationship is much different and can continue on for years.
    Very exciting and once again thank you for your service.

    Boone

    • No thank you needed it is an honor to be apart of these childrens lives. That is awsome that your parents and aunt is involved in the system as well.

  3. Ashley,
    Wonderful article. You did a great job creating a flow for your writing and touching the emotions of the reader. I’m glad to see someone interested in helping out foster kids. They are a minority that are often forgotten and these children need homes and help from society. Again, wonderful writing.

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