I was 16 when I entered the foster system, and know firsthand the statistics for ‘aging out.’
The courts don’t remove children from their home because the child underperformed at school or required extra long walks or a game of basketball in order to blow off the steam all 5-year-olds have. It’s because the parents were unfit, not the kids.
When I was in the group homes, I saw some of the kids being moved into foster homes with the potential for adoption. I remember well asking a social worker if I could find a home, too. I was told I was ‘too old’ and ‘no one wants to adopt a 16-year-old.’ I felt hopeless and alone.
The Heart Gallery premise is very simple. It is a special traveling exhibit of photographs featuring Los Angeles foster youth, designed to highlight the need to find loving adoptive families for waiting children.