Successful Transition to Independence

July 21, 2017

Ambrosia “Amber”, sadly, had been sexually abused at age 5 and, according to her mother, had been “difficult” ever since. Eventually, Amber was placed into a group home as a teenager upon the request of her mother who told authorities that she “had another daughter and needed to focus on her, and didn’t have time to deal with Amber’s drama anymore.”

Amber did well in this group home, receiving all B’s in her classes at school, and she worked hard at controlling her temper and anger issues with the staff and other children.

When Amber became pregnant at 17, there were only a handful of group homes equipped to shelter pregnant teens. Amber’s foster care caseworker believed that Amber had done best in her most restrictive, out-of-county placements, and thought that would be the best place for her now. He did not want her to have access to a bus pass or get a job because he wanted her to focus on school and self-improvement. Amber did not want that and KidsVoice agreed that this isolation would be counter-productive to Amber’s progress toward a successful transition to independent living. She had trouble trusting others because she had been let down so often by relationships in the past, and needed positive examples of those she trusted and who trusted her to build that mutual bond.

KidsVoice helped Amber obtain a state ID so that she could apply for jobs and a bus pass so that she could get to work and also attend after school programs to help her catch up on missed credits so she could graduate. KidsVoice found an Independent Living program that would let Amber continue to go to school and receive the emotional supports she needed there. She made up those credits and was proud to graduate high school.

Amber gave birth to her daughter, Rose, a week before her own 18th birthday. Amber did everything she needed to keep her daughter at home with her. Within a few months after giving birth, Amber was able to obtain a job, find an apartment, and prove that she was providing Rose with a safe, loving home.

Now 21 years old, she has continued to be Rose’s primary caretaker and supports herself and her daughter working as an in-home geriatric health care provider. KidsVoice advocated for Amber throughout every step of her dependency case and through her transition to living independently. Because the KidsVoice case team advocated for Amber’s position, they gained Amber’s trust and ultimately played a key role in Amber having the confidence to learn to be her own advocate and make things work for herself and for her baby.