LESSONS FROM THE ROAD, A FOSTER CARE MEMOIR
Garbage Bag Suitcase is my forthcoming memoir of my wholly dysfunctional journey through a childhood filled with neglectful, drug and alcohol addicted parents, constant moves in the middle of the night, multiple schools, lack of food, and loneliness. Forgotten birthdays, drug-fueled parties and empty pantries were the norm in whatever household I ended up residing in.
But Garbage Bag Suitcase is also more than that. After overcoming my many adversities from my childhood and my time in care, I have set out on a mission to reform the foster care system. It is time to educate the general population about the atrocious statistics that surround these children and the outcomes that await them after their time in foster care.
Many people do not understand the relationship between the foster care system and other social agencies, including but not limited to the criminal justice system, the welfare system, unemployment, homelessness, mental health services, alcohol and drug addiction and that most foster children are condemned to a life in poverty.
There are over 400,000 children in foster care every day in the United States alone. Out of those children, nearly 23,000 age out every year. Once they age out, less than 58% will graduate from High School. Over 50% will become homeless within the first year after leaving the system. And, by the age of 24 less than half will be employed.
The numbers don’t get better. By some reports it is believed that over 80% of our prison population is made of individuals who, at some point in their lives, had been foster children. The toll that this failing system is taking on our children, on our communities and our tax dollars must be reformed, and new solutions must be implemented. We owe it to our children.
If you are interested in learning ways in which you can get involved, along with me, to reform the foster care system, please contact me at any of my social media sites or join my newsletter at www.garbagebagsuitcase.com. None of us can change the past, it has already happened, but together we can make the best of today, and make tomorrow great!