Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 22, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Extend foster care to age 21

Foster parenting has specific challenges

I would like to respond to a letter to the editor titled “Foster children should not receive exceptions,” [Northwest Voices, March 18] that was written in response to an op-ed headlined “Allow kids in foster care to age 21” [Opinion, March 15].

I would like to point out that being a foster parent is incredibly difficult, even without financial support. Foster families are not just “any family.” Foster parenting is filled with challenges and opportunities. It can be challenging to parent children with difficult histories. Being a foster parent is an opportunity to take care of children who benefit greatly from love and support. Foster parents change lives one child at a time. They believe in investing in the future of disadvantaged kids living in Washington state.

I hope this helps clarify questions or confusion surrounding this important social-injustice issue.

–Ed Boyle, Seattle

Extending foster care is a moral obligation

As a foster parent to two boys, ages 9 and 14, I wholeheartedly endorse the ongoing effort to extend foster care to age 21 for youth who need it most.

Foster children are under the legal custody of the state. My role as a foster parent is to provide shelter, care and support to those placed into my home, while the state seeks a permanent placement. I do not do this for the money; in fact I spend thousands out of pocket every year to support the needs of the foster children under my care. I do it gladly because these children deserve a safe and stable home.

However, when the state’s obligation to these youth ends at age 18, I lose more than just the payments — foster youth lose the support services that help address any special needs they may have. Most foster families simply can’t afford to keep these kids, as much as they would like to help.

Giving foster youth a chance to succeed by extending foster care to 21 is not just a sound investment, it is also our moral obligation to them.

–Yossi Banai, foster parent and a Mockingbird Society board member, Redmond

Comments | More in Children, Social services | Topics: foster care

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►