My name is Caymen Sandoval, and I live in Grass Valley. Between the ages 17 to 18, I was put into the foster system. Currently, I am 18 and am in a program called AB-12. It is a program that makes it so that when you transition out of the foster care system that you have some kind of funding, so that you’re not just thrown out on your own with nothing on your 18th birthday. My plan before I was 18 was to move to Tahoe and continue my education.
Thanks to the foster care system, my plans have changed a great amount. I am supposed to be getting funding from Nevada County Child Protective Services, and I am not getting the $799 a month that I’m supposed to be getting. I am not the only AB-12 foster child who is not getting funding in this county.
I don’t think this is right considering it is the county, and it should be doing what it says that it’s going to do. In the year or year and a half that I have been in the foster system, I have been put through so much. Honestly, I think I can say that I’ve been through more during this year and a half than I have in my whole life before all of this.
My first social worker for the county was horrible, my next one was better than her, but my social worker right now is amazing. I’ve never had one as helpful as she; she actually cares unlike the other ones. I feel like we need more foster children to go to school to become social workers, so that they know how we feel. I’m highly thinking about changing my choice to go into the medical field to being a social worker instead, so hopefully I can make a change in the world.
I honestly hope that no one takes this the wrong way because I’m not trying to complain. I just want the public to know what we foster youth are going through. I can only imagine how the children feel who have been in foster care their whole lives, not knowing any different. If I had been in foster care my whole life, to be honest with you, I probably wouldn’t be here today.
No one has any idea of how hard it is until you have been through all of it.
Thank you all for reading this and I really do hope that no one takes this the wrong way. I’m not meaning it that way at all. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.
Caymen Sandoval lives in Grass Valley.