Written by Cheyanne Ratnam, @CheyRatnam, a member of our Young Person’s Advisory Council, former young person in care, CAFDN Ambassador, S.S.W., B.S.W., M.S.W.
The following post was written in response to a blog posted on Adopt4Life on February 24, 2015. It discusses young people in the care system having to choose between being adopted and receiving educational funding from the government. Read it here: http://www.adopt4life.com/adopt4lifeon/feb24
This hits close to home for many people I know. When you grow up in care and have to make the painful decision between exiting the child welfare system as children and youth in care in order to be adopted into a family vs. losing out on the higher probability of entering and finishing post-secondary education. No one should have to choose between having a family and an education.
Having grown-up in care, I know firsthand how many factors can interfere with entering, let alone successfully completing, post-secondary education. I have a diploma is Social Services, Bachelor’s in Social Work, and a Master’s in Social Work — a lot of financial supports cease once adopted, and I’m not sure if I would have been able to come as far as I have and acquired the credentials I now hold without those supports.
We all go down different paths. Not every young person should be or wants to be adopted. There are multiple paths to permanency but as a person who grew-up in care, I stand in solidarity with children and youth who are on the adoption route and believe that children and youth who want to be adopted, should not have to choose between family and education. They also should not have to prolong the process of adoption in order to acquire both a family and an education.