This one made me cry.
Report: Foster Kids Face Tough Times After Age 18
by Pam Fessler
NPR, April 7, 2010
(Click on the text below to read the full story at NPR)
It's hard turning 18 — moving out, finding a job, going to college. But many foster children have to do it by themselves, without the lifeline to parents and home that helps many teens ease into independence.
A major report out Wednesday says that many former foster kids have a tough time out on their own. When they age out of the system, they're more likely than their peers to end up in jail, homeless or pregnant. They're also less likely to have a job or go to college.
Life can be a struggle for these young people, even with help from the government and nonprofit agencies.
Take Josh Mendoza, a shy young man from Tampa, Fla., with soulful eyes and a hint of dark hair along his upper lip. He lived in 14 different group homes after he was removed from his mother's care more than two years ago because she used drugs.
But now he's just turned 18, and like 30,000 other foster teens this year, he's suddenly out on his own.
"This is my apartment," Mendoza says as he opens the door to a ground floor unit at an apartment complex in Tampa. The living room is empty except for a navy blue futon and a small TV. The white walls are bare. He has only been here for two weeks.
There's food in the cupboard, but not a lot: some spaghetti, Cream of Wheat and cereal.