CBS4 Explores Issues Around ‘Aging Out’

By Libby Smith

Libby Smith is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. If you have a story you’d like to tell CBS4 about, call 303-863-TIPS (8477) or visit the News Tips section.

DENVER (CBS4) – CBS4 begins a week long series examining the issues around “Aging Out,” the point when a teenager leaves the foster care system in Colorado.

Every week, Britt Moreno profiles a child living in foster care waiting for a family during CBS4’s Wednesday’s Child stories. This project looks at what happened when a child does not make that connection.

“What is it like for kids in that position in foster care?” Moreno asked a former foster care youth.

aging out 2 CBS4 Explores Issues Around Aging Out

CBS4’s Britt Moreno interviews Geqwan. (credit: CBS)

“Very dark, very lonely, very unpredictable,” replied Geqwan.

“I didn’t have nobody, so I felt depressed a lot of the time. I cried a lot,” said Celeste, another former foster care youth.

“They go throughout their lives and just feeling hopeless or even lonely,” said Tai, another former foster care youth speaking about other teens in foster care.

One-third of foster care youth who age out of the system will experience homelessness. Half of them will end up in jail. Many more will use drugs, resort to prostitution, and won’t be able to get a meaningful job.

aging out 1 CBS4 Explores Issues Around Aging Out

Life coach Anna Marie sits with Krista and her daughter. (credit: CBS)

“Just not making wise decisions,” said Krista, another former foster care youth speaking about the influences that impact you when you’re living along with no family to support you.

After several years of struggling, Krista is now going to school, and raising her two children. There are people and programs working hard to support young people as they age out of foster care.

“We all need encouragement,” said Anna Marie, a life coach working with Mile High United Way’s Bridging the Gap program.

CBS4 SPECIAL REPORTS: Aging Out

The people and programs help build foundations, introduce the youth to things they don’t know, and give them a hand up when they need it.

“One single caring adult makes the difference in a child’s success,” said Lauren Arnold, executive director of the Adoption Exchange.

Additional Resouces

The following are helpful resources for people who are aging out of foster care and for the people who care for them.

Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Public Awareness Campaign
Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline
1-844-CO-4-KIDS
Learn more about foster care and adoption in Colorado.
co4kids.org

United Way Bridging the Gap
helping teens live on their own after foster care
unitedwaydenver.org/bridging-the-gap
303-433-8383

Dream Makers Project
making dreams come true for former foster care youth
dreammakersproject.org

Chafee Program
life skills program provided through human services dept. of each county
denverchafee.org

CBS4 Wednesday’s Child Section
cbsdenver.com/wednesdayschild/

The Adoption Exchange
promoting adoption for foster care youth
adoptex.org
303-755-1339

Adoption Exchange’s Birthday Wishes Program
adoptex.org/get-involved/donate/birthday-wishes-program/
303-755-1339

Office of the Lt. Governor
colorado.gov/ltgovernor
303-866-2885

SOAR! Youth & Adult Choir
soaryouthandadultchoir.org 720-218-1433 (Youth)
720-989-5744 (Adults)

Libby Smith is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. If you have a story you’d like to tell CBS4 about, call 303-863-TIPS (8477) or visit the News Tips section.

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