Let me recommend an unexpected book - Out of the Darkness: My Journey Through Foster Care by Kailamai Hansen. I say unexpected, not because I would not have expected a beautiful young woman like Kailamai to write such a book, but because I never took the time to think about what happens to kids when they age-out of foster care.
As a woman in a loving home, with three birth children and three adopted children, maturing into adulthood is an exciting step. Yet, just because one is eighteen, it does not make them an adult. And, as a psychologist, I know that children who have gone through trauma in their young lives, do not mature "evenly." They may be very "street smart" and have no idea how to write a check or how to shop for groceries.
When eighteen-year-olds age-out of foster care they have nothing, no bedding, no dishes, no cooking utencile. You get the idea. Kailamai's book helps us understand the unique situation these kids are in. On there own - with no place to go - with no means of getting there - and with no mentoring to help them grow into their freedom. We would all benefit from reading, Out of the Darkness.
Copyright 2014 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.