The first time, a friend in Utah called and said she was afraid her 18 year old would run away and was anorexic, could she stay with us for a while. We had known “L” since she was 5 years old and said certainly. With us, the crisis passed, she became a library page in our town, ultimately went home, and is now a librarian with a masters – she was with us about a year and a half. Since that time, younglings known to us have come and stayed anywhere from six months to two years, in order to launch. Some had a parent die, or a parents move away, or serve over seas, or the young adult was sober, and the parent not sober. The kids were not criminals, not “in trouble”, but were homeless or at risk for various reasons.
With modest supports [I admit, I was the one who rounded up “supports” for myself and these young adults that I really do think of as “birdlings” though some are a foot taller than I am] experienced parents could assist this age group. We do. Such a program could literally save lives and be extremely cost effective.
I note residential programs these days come in at about $150,000 a year – or more. My household fostering young adults costs the Commonwealth nothing. I suggest that at a modest cost, perhaps support groups or an “on call” LICSW, others could perform this function and share their experience and ability to nurture those young adults who would otherwise fall through the cracks in our society, as so many are doing.
DCF Fears Kids Will Be Cut Loose
Broken System Keeps Mom, Daughter Apart
Legal Orphans in Free Fall
Mental health treatment – in lockup