AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - On Friday, dozens of children aging out or adults who aged out of the foster care system attended Buckner Amarillo’s resource fair at Paramount Baptist Church.
In Texas, over 30,000 kids are in foster care until they turn 18.
“They have gone from being in the care of the state where they almost weren’t allowed to make decisions, to having to make every decision for themselves,” said Bekah Coggins, the transitional services supervisor for Buckner Amarillo.
Each year over 1,000 children in Texas age out of foster care and many don’t have a safety net.
“Typically, when you turn 18, and you are moving out of your parent’s house, you still have that safety net of mom and dad. But, a lot of our youth don’t. Foster homes, there are not that many in this area that are licensed to keep youth in the home after they turn 18. And so, they kind of are on their own and all of a sudden they are very on their own,” said Coggins.
Along with creating a resource fair, Buckner also teaches a life skills class for foster children and access to services including tutoring, GED preparation and help with higher education
“What you need to know about everything from health and personal safety, so, taking care of yourself, going to your doctor’s appointments, things like that. They take tours of banks, how to get a bank account, how to apply for a job, how to apply for an apartment,” said Coggins.
According to Dunia Liuhizo, a former foster youth, the resources and classes have helped some foster children successfully transition to adults.
“It is going pretty good. I have a handle on things because people have helped me," said Liuhizo. "Being able to have resources to help me through transitioning to becoming an adult and if I need gas or anything like that and I’m just having a hard time I can use those resources for that.”
For more information about the Buckner foster care system in Texas, click here.