Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jennifer Fox, the former foster child in Seattle who miscarried

There's a tragic story about a 19 year old formerly homeless young adult in the foster system who says that she miscarried after being kicked in the stomach repeatedly and pepper sprayed. That's excessive force regardless of gender and pregnancy, but another story says that she may have been lying about the miscarriage.

Reading the article, I don't see reason to doubt it given that it was documented by police earlier. She has no obligation to turn over her medical records to the press. And given that she has a foster mother who is abusive enough to call her names in the press, clearly she has little emotional support.

Regardless, I think she is an instructive case of the reason for the Occupy Protests. The research suggests that she'll have more chances in life if she waits a few years to get pregnant until she has attained a community college certificate and has a job and a husband. If she continued the pregnancy she would have higher chances of continued poverty and intimate partner violence.

Still, as a young adult in the foster system, which resources does she have to access higher education, and what chances does she believe she has to get a good job and find a worthwhile future other than as a mother? Most/all young adults who were in the foster system are eligible for Pell grants for community college to find a viable career, but few low SES young adults know that it's worthwhile to fill out the FAFSA or which classes to take in community college that will lead to a career in which they can have dignity and job security, and most community college guidance counselors have literally 500 students whom they're expected to advise so can't have help.

The current system gives disadvantaged young adults flimsy flip flops and then expects people to pull themselves up by the bootstraps.

No comments: