Monday, February 12, 2007

Scholarships for former foster youth

The Orphan Foundation of America and Casey Family Scholars Program are offering $1.5 million to help foster youth attend college, university, or training programs.

These scholarships are competitive. The deadline to apply is March 31.

More information and application procedures are available

Another source of financial assistance is available through state vouchers:

The process is less competitive, but getting the paperwork from the school can be problematic.

My friend Anjey Breno, who works for the Orphan Foundation of America, reports that foster youth are more likely to follow through with the entire application process if a caring adult is there to guide them through the process.

Youth who are eligible receive up to $5,000 a year to help with tuition, student loans, books, rent and food.

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thanks for leaving an honest post on my blog. I have to say that it is exptremly sad that those families did such awful things but to base your opinion on all large adoptive families on this is to say that all homeschooler are bad because a few are not good.
I know personally of some very wonderful large adoptive family and the author that wrote this is one of them.
Blessngs in Jesus. Beth
sorry about the anonymous post as the google would not let me sign in. Beth (again)

Don't worry about accidentally posting anonymously.

However, I do encourage you to reread my posting on your blog, in which I clearly state that I am not demonizing all large adoptive families. (My friend Johanna, who has a large adoptive family of her own, would definitely call me out on that one!)

Nor am I endorsing all of them.

The title of your posting was: "15 Reasons Why Large Adoptive Familes are a Great Resource for Waiting Children."

My response was (and is):

As a former foster child, I have to admit that I am a tad bit suspicious of large adoptive families (also called "collector families").

1.) How large are they?

2.) How much individual attention are the children getting?

3.) Are the parents motivated by compassion, or financial gain?

Don't get me wrong.

Some of these foster parents are be wonderful, caring people. My friend, Johanna, is one of them.

The best case scenario for adoptive placements are storylines worthy of a Hallmark movie.

But, the worst case scenarios are the stuff that nightmares are made of…

--The Gravelles, an Ohio family, took in 11 special needs children, disciplined them in an inhumane manner and forced many of them to sleep in cages.

--Mercury Liggins, a Texas adoptive parent, who followed through on her threat to send her seven adopted children to Africa — they ended up in a Nigerian orphanage, suffering from malaria and malnutrition.

--Debra and Thomas Schmitz of Tennessee took in 18 children-16 of them adopted. They severely abused the children in their care, while proporting themselves to be an expert to others.

So, as a former foster child, I leer away from addressing large adoptive families as "a great resource for waiting children."

Some are... and, sadly, some are not.

That being said, I want to agree with a comment from "Gawdessness" blog:

"It is unfair that good foster parents are painted with the same brush as the not so good ones but the bad ones are also part of the experience of kids in the system and of course the ones that catch the our attention the most.

"So much easier to hate and demonize the one person or family that did wrong than to think of and celebrate the hundreds and thousands that simply do the hard work everyday..."

I want to state here and now, that the foster parents who do it right are the heroes. They are my heroes. For what it is worth, I love them for it. And I want to support them in any way I can.

However -- I also make no effort to hide the fact that my bottom-line priority is always going to be the children and adult survivors of foster care.

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