Aging Out of Foster Care: Jahmie’s Story

Posted on May 7, 2024

Jahmie grew up in a tumultuous environment, experiencing abuse, neglect and pervasive drug use that made his home unsafe. At 13, Jahmie was placed in foster care and separated from his siblings. He spent the next five years bouncing between different foster homes before aging out of the system at 18.

“I felt like once I turned 18, the pressure was on,” said Jahmie. “And I felt like I wasn’t ready for it at all.”

The day Jahmie aged out of foster care marked a pivotal moment in his life, as he was forced to navigate the harsh realities of an adult world on his own. The transition was rocky. Jahmie suffered through abusive relationships and his own issues with drug addiction.

Jahmie found temporary safety and support in transitional housing, where he was able to learn basic life skills, like cooking and budgeting. But he is clear that these services can’t take the place of a permanent family.

“The hardest part of aging out of foster care [is not] having people who will support you, sign certain things for you, help you get certain resources, help you in your time of need, having people to fall back on and things like that,” Jahmie shared.

He is working hard toward a bright future and hopes to enter the fire academy some day.

Jahmie has advice for other youth who are at risk of aging out of foster care. “My one piece of advice is not to waste any time. Once you age out, the resources that the county [provides] lowers. Consider adoption. It provides you with someone to give you guidance, someone to take care of you and a family.”

Every day, more than 50 young people, like Jahmie, age out of foster care in the U.S. without a permanent family. You can help by considering becoming a foster or adoptive parent. Download our Step-by-Step Guide to Adoption to learn more.

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