Georgia program helps transition from foster care to independence

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Michael Fulcher said his combative personality makes it difficult for him to stay out of trouble.

The 19-year-old was kicked out of his mother’s Tennessee home at 16 because he was causing problems at school and getting arrested for fighting.

So he found himself living in a hotel room in the Athens area and not going to school when someone tipped off Georgia Division of Family and Children Services officials. DFCS placed him in foster care in Athens.

Normally he would have been back out on his own in a few years, but six months after he turned 18, Fulcher decided to take advantage of a state program that helps young adults transition to independent life by the time they turn 21.

“I tend to get in trouble on my own,” he said. “As foster kids, and kids in general, we’re still discovering ourselves, even at 18.

“The state, acting as your parent, has been kicking kids out when they turn 18. Would you kick your kids out of the house on their 18th birthday?”

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