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Teacher Lesson Return to "On My Own: An Aging Out Story"
On My Own: An Aging Out Story
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Figuring Out What You’ll Need and How to Get It

Before the group meets, if possible, print out Foster Club’s "Permanency Pact" linked at the end of “On My Own: An Aging Out Story” by Anonymous on p. 4. Don’t hand them out yet, though.

Brainstorm: 30 minutes
Ask the group to list five things they think they’ll need when they age out. (Possible practical answers: a job, a GED or diploma or to be in college, an apartment, a bank account, a resume, driver’s license or other ID. They also may have more emotional answers like a family or someone to count on.) Write all their answers on the board. Discuss as a group how they will or have gone about getting these things.

Read and Discuss: 45 minutes
Have them read “On My Own: An Aging Out Story” by Anonymous on p. 4. Ask if reading it prompts them to add anything to the group’s list (food stamps, furniture, health insurance). Add those items. Then ask if they’ve anticipated any of the troubles Anonymous went through—getting an offer of help that turned out not to be sincere, fighting with her foster mother, a public housing apartment not being ready, losing a job or getting her hours cut. Have them discuss ways to solve those problems or prevent them from happening.

Planning and Practice: 60 minutes
Ask them if they’ve thought about who they can turn to for support after they age out. After a brief discussion, give them the permanency pact and go through the list of 45 specific supports.

Discuss the list as a group. Which items are surprising or have they not thought about as something they would need? Which are they most worried about? Have everyone brainstorm a list of people in their lives who they may not have thought of (people who are not necessarily family or mentors) who could do one of these things. Then talk about some ways to approach people to ask for these kinds of supports. If time permits, break the group into pairs and ask them to role play asking a particular person for help with one item on the list.

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