Seth* became a KidsVoice client when he was 16. His father had died suddenly two years earlier, and the trauma from his father’s death made it difficult for Seth and his mother, who struggled with significant mental health issues, to continue living together.
Seth is a transgender youth, and KidsVoice advocated for Seth to be placed in an LGBTQ foster home. We also recognized that Seth needed to be able to set his own boundaries with his mother and advocated in court for him to decide when and how visits would occur.
At the time he entered care, Seth was on many medications for specialized medical issues. Seth questioned whether the diagnoses were correct, or more a result of his mother’s insistence with doctors that there was a problem. KidsVoice supported his request for medical reassessments. Within a year of coming into care, Seth was medication-free.
A significant hurdle for transgender youth can be name and gender marker changes. KidsVoice worked with his mother, via her parent advocate attorney, to change Seth’s name on his birth certificate before he turned 18, when the process can become more challenging. With documentation from Seth’s doctor, we were able to have the gender marker on his birth certificate changed. KidsVoice also ensured that these changes were reflected correctly with his health insurer, bank, and everywhere else. KidsVoice also amended the survivor’s benefits Seth’s father left behind to ensure Seth would have access to them when he turned 18.
With the coordinated assistance of KidsVoice and the county’s Educational Liaison for transition age youth (youth ages 14 and older), Seth began attending nursing school.
To make his commute easier, Seth voiced his wish to buy a car using his survivor’s benefits. KidsVoice encouraged Seth to take driving lessons through 412 Youth Zone, available to transition age youth at no cost. We then assisted Seth in getting a driver’s license. Gathering the required documents can be difficult for foster youth. Soon after, Seth was able to buy a used car.
Unfortunately, one of Seth’s foster parents unexpectedly passed away and the other parent was overwhelmed, so Seth decided to move out of his foster home when he was 18. He found temporary accommodations and KidsVoice negotiated with the county so that Seth could receive a monthly stipend to help with these living expenses while he continued his educational pursuits.
KidsVoice then got to work with helping Seth find longer-term housing. We reached out to Action Housing, which can assist some of our transition age youth who are in college with rent for their own apartments. Often, there is a long wait for housing because of high demand, but when the pandemic began, housing stability became a high priority. KidsVoice kept in close contact to ensure a timely transition.
Seth will soon turn 20 and he loves his apartment. He recently graduated nursing school and has been offered a position at a prestigious medical department. Seth will soon age out of care, but KidsVoice will continue to support him through age 24, as we do with all former clients.
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