WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

D.C. Group Helps Foster Children Succeed After Emancipation

Play associated audio
Shumeka Moore, who spent several years in a variety of foster homes, is now a senior at Trinity University after receiving support from the D.C. Office of Court Appointed Special Advocates.
Elliott Francis
Shumeka Moore, who spent several years in a variety of foster homes, is now a senior at Trinity University after receiving support from the D.C. Office of Court Appointed Special Advocates.

When D.C.'s children in foster care reach age 18, many begin to leave the system in a process called emancipation. Without continued support, some of these so-called 'foster kids' will fail as they become adults; but one local group is helping provide them with a leg up.

Shumeka Moore is one such young woman, who grew up in a series of foster homes in and around D.C. Some were okay, and others not so good. But at least Moore had the support of a family until she turned 21, she says.

“If I didn’t have the support system that I have, I don't know exactly where I would be," she says. "Family, that was not an option, so I would probably be in a shelter somewhere."

As foster children transition to adulthood, they 'age out' of the foster care system and are released to live life on their own. Without the support of family, many find themselves unprepared at the age of emancipation, and at risk. 

Krystal Wortham is a volunteer with the D.C. Office of Court Appointed Special Advocates or CASA. As Moore’s advocate in the 'Foster Futures' program, Wortham helped provide a continuity of service and guidance to help Moore bridge those awkward young adult years.

“Shumeka has been through four to five different placements in foster care as well as six to eight social workers," says Wortham. "But with each one of those, her team was there to support her, and she has come through as an independent, well-spoken person, sister, daughter, and she has evolved.” 

The mother of a 3-year-old girl, Moore is now a senior at Trinity College studying criminal justice.  

“They made sure my grades are good, keeping doctor appointments for me and my child, what I’m going to do and where I’m going to live after I emancipate," Moore says. "So I had a plan in place. So I wasn't just stuck on my 21st birthday not knowing what to do." 

The Child Welfare League reports 20,000 to 25,000 young adults age out of foster care each year.


Credibility Concerns Overshadow Release Of Gay Talese's New Book

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with Paul Farhi of the Washington Post about Gay Talese's new book, The Voyeur's Hotel. The credibility of the book, which follows a self-proclaimed sex researcher who bought a hotel to spy on his guests through ventilator windows, has been called into question after Farhi uncovered problems with Talese's story.

Amid Craft Brewery Boom, Some Worry About A Bubble — But Most Just Fear Foam

Fueled by customers' unquenchable thirst for the next great flavor note, the craft beer industry has exploded like a poorly fermented bottle of home brew.

White House Documents Number Of Civilians Killed In U.S. Drone Strikes

The Obama administration issued a long awaited report Friday, documenting the number on civilians who have been accidentally killed by U.S. drone strikes. Human rights activists welcome the administration's newfound transparency, though some question whether the report goes far enough.

Tesla 'Autopilot' Crash Raises Concerns About Self-Driving Cars

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a fatal crash involving a Tesla car using the "autopilot" feature. NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Alex Davies of Wired about the crash and what it means for self-driving car technology.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.