Jasmine's Story: Growing Out of Foster Care
Last updated: May 10, 2019, at 11:35 a.m. PT
Originally published: May 9, 2019, at 3:37 p.m. PT
Jasmine feels like a different person than when she first came to the Y.
“I have noticed that I’m on better terms with my past. I am more open to speak my mind without becoming scared of what others would say or do when I state my idea or opinion,” said the 18-year-old.
Jasmine was placed into foster care after being removed by Child Protective Services from an abusive home. The years of instability as a child in foster care and past traumas led to Jasmine experiencing symptoms of PTSD, including depression and poor self-esteem. Eventually Jasmine connected with a Y-licensed foster care family that had specific training on how to support kids who have endured the most difficult of circumstances. She also met with a Y therapist to work on the process of healing from her past traumas, and to set a plan for her future.
By meeting weekly with her therapist, Jasmine’s mental health began to improve. Overcoming an abusive past takes a lot of consistent, patient work. Over six months, with the support of her foster care team, Jasmine earned her high school diploma.
As Jasmine prepared for her transition into adulthood, she was connected with the Y’s wrap-around programs for young adults in foster care or who have recently "aged out". One in three young adults who "age out" of foster care in Washington state end up experiencing homelessness. But not Jasmine.
Jasmine meets each week with her case manager, who has helped to connect her with housing through Host Homes, a program that connects youth and young adults with community members who have spare bedrooms to provide short-term housing. Jasmine and her host family had a great relationship, and they have supported her in searching for jobs and filling out job applications.
Jasmine’s case manager has also helped her to get an ID, set up a bank account, and is now helping her to find permanent housing. Jasmine said, “I am thankful for the Y for helping me understand that no matter what happens I am always and forever be the one and only me which is amazing and very wonderful.”
Jasmine still works on the trauma of her past, but sees a hopeful future filled with opportunities. She plans to attend community college in the fall to begin the process of achieving her dream of becoming a scientist.
The Y is a licensed foster care agent. Foster parents make a huge impact in someone's life. Learn if foster parenting is right for you.
*Photo and name have been changed to protect identity