On the eve of her 21st birthday, a young woman leaving the local Howard County foster care system after nine placements/homes was welcomed to her first apartment by eight local residents and two truckloads of used but sturdy furniture. Her housewarming was courtesy of Fostering Futures: An initiative of Voices for Children, Howard County's court-appointed special advocates.
Fostering Futures Howard County seeks to develop a community network using the internet and other means to support youth aging out of foster care. Each month members of the network will receive a simple message asking if they can help: by donating and moving furniture, assisting with a college application, or whatever may be needed. Everything is completely voluntary. The needs assessments are developed collaboratively between Fostering Futures/Voices for Children and the Howard County Department of Social Services.
This young woman was helped in this modest way. Even more important than furniture to these young people is the kindness, guidance and support of others.
We encourage interested residents of the county to learn more about Fostering Futures Howard County by visiting our website at http://www.fosteringfutureshoco.org or call at 410-740-0933. You may be able to do more than you ever thought.
Christopher J. McCabe
Christopher J. McCabe, a former secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Resources, chairs the board of advisors for Fostering Futures Howard County.