Things People Never Told Me: Aging Out of Foster Care
When foster care students transition out there is a lot of things people never told them. Transitioning out of foster care can be a difficult process, as it requires tremendous maturity and self-discipline. We have highlighted a few tips that will help those transitioning out.
- That bills needed to be paid every month. If I didn’t pay my bills, my information and the money I owed would be sent to a collections agency, which would ruin my “credit.” Also, the agency could charge me more than I owed!
- That I could use money orders – which are like checks, but are not connected to my bank account but have a service fee of .25-.75 cents
- That I should NEVER carry my Social Security card or birth certificate in my wallet or purse and that I should store them in a safe place.
- That I needed rental history or a co-signer to be approved for my first apartment and that my last placement could have been counted as “rental history.”
- What to do when I didn’t have a diploma or GED when I needed to get a job or even how much work is put into getting a job. Nor was I taught how to fill out an application, what to bring with me to a job interview, the cost to even go job hunting (bus fare), how to “build” or “fake” experience to even get a job, or even what to wear to an interview (especially when I don’t always have nice clothes).
- What was covered by my health plan. I ended up with more bills when I would have gotten things taken care of earlier if I had been told what was/wasn’t covered by my health plan or that there are different kinds of health plan options.
- Why people would tell me to not just “stop” my meds, yet never tell me what would happen if I did. Essentially I was told not to do things but never told WHY I shouldn’t do those things.
- That I would not be notified if any of my biological family members died.
- That I had the right to see my siblings.
- That I would experience a “culture shock” when coming out of foster care and that being thrown into the “real” world would be difficult!