Establishing “normalcy” means that [foster youth]get to do what their friends do, that they have a chance to pursue their interests and build dreams for their future and, most importantly, that they have a family who cares about them, just like their friends.And young people know that it is not normal:
1.To be denied opportunities to play sports, participate in extracurricular activities, or go on a school field trip,
2.To live in congregate (or group home) care, with restrictions on everything from brushing your teeth to visiting your sister or brother,
3.To have judges, caseworkers, attorneys, and others making major decisions about your life without talking with you or really knowing who you are,
4.To languish in foster care year after year, moving from placement to placement, school to school, or
5. To suddenly be on your own at age 18, 19, or 20 and expected to live independently.
What do we want for our own kids? Young people in foster care know that most of us “adults” wouldn’t allow our children to experience any of the above.
~Gary Strangler, Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, Huffington Post, July 2014