In mid-2017, I joined the Youth in Transitions Advisory Council (YTAC). The council was assembled and is lead by Woodgreen, a community resource center for those who may not have the same supports as most. I have been working with some members of their team, as well as other youth advisers, to help create a program to help youths aging out of the child welfare system into independent living and adulthood. There is a big lack in adulthood education, and over all understanding of how the general world works outside of living within an institutionalized environment, like the Children’s Aid Foundation. They have yet to openly acknowledge the damage they inflict on the people they have promised to help, and often send these damaged children out into the world with no second glance as to how prepared they really are for this life. Broken children, grow-up to be broken adults. And the cycle goes on…
It is with great hope, that with more programs like Free2Be, we will be able to help more young adults in better understanding the world, and themselves. Stepping-up to deal with the overflow of side-effects that are cause by a life in the child welfare, and foster care system. Although just a band-aid solution to a much greater problem in a very broken system, it is the best we have right now. Until these systems and institutions look at themselves in the mirror, and admit their flaws and faults, only then can they begin to fix themselves.
The ones who have lived through it, we are the ones who know the damages that they can cause. It is up to us to do our best to make the issues known, and make them change. The Children’s Aid Foundation has been pumping out broken people for a long time now, and more times than not things become worse for them as their life goes on. They don’t realize their handicaps, their learned helplessness, and overall acceptance of a lower status in society. We need to break the forced complacency and reawaken a part of these youths that has been so repressed and sequestered, they don’t even realize it is their anymore. Break the bonds of shame that keep them shackled up within themselves, and break the conditioning that was ingrained on them by strangers.
Through skill building, teamwork, self-expression and practice, practice, practice we hope to help youths build their sense of self-worth and self-confidence to better prepare to take on the world. And to see themselves in a light that they might not have imagined before, by breaking down the walls they never chose to have built. There are a lot of inner-barriers and self-limitations that can come with life, and even more-so when it was never your life to begin with. We hope to develop a program to eliminate and minimize these turmoils and afflictions, to help to understand and accept their lives and move forward in a healthy manner.
The team leaders at Woodgreen have been granted funds for a trial period of 1 year I believe. They have hired a program leader and we are working on fleshing the details and actualities of the program to bring it to reality. It would be nice to use my experiences with this lifestyle to help anyone, I am looking forward to seeing this program grow and hopefully flourish. Everything stated here is all opinions of my very own, and not those of Woodgreen or anything like that. I am speaking for myself from my own experiences.
I will keep this page updated!