November 22, 2019

Home Transitions are Hard for Youth in Foster Care

One consistent and caring adult makes all the difference.

Oftentimes youth in the foster care system transition to multiple homes throughout a year. This makes it difficult to focus on academics and build positive habits. Logan*, who is experiencing his sixth transition this year, is no exception. The one thing that sets Logan apart from many youth in foster care is that he has his professional mentor, Andre, by his side.

“I really appreciate the work Friends of the Children allows me to do,” Andre said. “I get to be there to help support this kid because with all of this transition, it is almost like we are a pillar in [Logan’s] life regardless.”

During placement number five, Andre found out that Logan was moving to a new home. Not wanting Logan to face this alone, Andre went to pick him up and take him to the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) for his new placement. “He packed all of his stuff into two small little bags, and it was just one of those sights that made my heart shatter,” Andre recalled from that visit. “This kid is walking around, and he has a backpack and a suitcase, and that is all he has in his whole world. To him, that backpack is like having his own room.”

Shortly after arriving at DCYF, both Andre and Logan found out there was no place for him to go, and he had to stay in a hotel for almost a full week. It was always hard when Andre’s visits with Logan at the hotel came to an end. “It pained me to tell him I gotta say goodbye because I wish I could just stay and help him,” said Andre. At this time, Logan did have some contact with his biological family, but other than his interactions with his social worker and his mentor, he was really by himself.

Since his hotel stay, Logan has been reunited with his biological family. It has been a very hard process, but Logan has had the consistent, positive support of his mentor throughout it all.

Andre has a total of eight youth he sees on a weekly basis. They have all been involved with the foster care system at some point during their time with Friends of the Children–Seattle. Andre said he mostly doesn’t discuss their transitions or the not-so-great things going on in his youths’ lives. “I try to give them a space where they can be free from all of the things that are going on in their world,” Andre said. “No matter how much my boys move around, I'm still going to be there to support them, and they know that.”

*Youth's name changed to protect their identity