Section 1: Summary
Aging Out is a film about children in a foster care system, who experiences difficult hurdles as they transition to an independent living and adulthood. It is apparent that the change is one of the major challenges even for the mature and privileged youths. Roger Weisberg, the director of the film, portrays Daniella Anderson as one of the foster care veterans, who attends college in anticipation to pay her bills and raise her newborn. Additionally, the director depicts David Griffin as a foster care vet who moves to the streets and later indulges in the use of drugs to cope with his homelessness condition. Eventually, he relocates to Alaska in hope of becoming a fisherman.
In the film Aging Out, it is apparent that youths experience challenges in the transition process from childhood to adulthood. Youths from Los Angeles and New York experience challenges as they move out of a foster care system and discover that they have to live independently. Weisberg depicts Risa Bejaramo as another foster care vet. She attends high school prom and graduates with several scholarships. However, she suffers from an emotional disorder while in her first year in college resulting from drug addiction. Aging Out is an outstanding documentary based on different experiences of children, who appear to be transitioning into adulthood.
Section 2: Sociological Paradigm
For the Aging Out film, I will use structural functionalism theory to assess the transition period of youths to adulthood and live independently. The director reveals the transition of youths from adolescence to adulthood. Structural functionalism theorists perceive society as a system that work together to enhance solidarity and stability. The youths have to interact with different institutions in the society, such, the government, religion, education, and legal systems. Importantly, the youths ought to understand different functions in the society in the process of socialization. Because structural functionalists perceive the socialization process as a way to learn the existing norms in the society, it is apparent that the structural functionalism theory relates to the experiences of the youths. If children are separated from their parents to live in a foster home, they learn to live independently and explore on the available opportunities in the society.
Section 3: Criminology application
The Aging Out film relates to the concept of socialization. It is apparent that after adolescence, youths ought to move out of the foster care system to live independently. For this reason, they have to learn different concepts in the society to take care of themselves without involvement of the parents. For instance, they ought to overcome any barrier that might affect their overall wellbeing. The foster care parents ought to ensure that they prepare the youths for transition to adulthood. Just like the three characters in the film, it is apparent that they might indulge in risky behaviours later in life after moving out of the foster care centers. The society members are the main socializing agents for the adolescents to learn different ideologies.
Section 4: Film Questions
Before watching Aging Out, what impressions came to mind when you heard the term “Foster Care” or “Foster Children?”
Before I watched the film Aging Out, I had the perception of a foster care as a private home meant for orphans and the neglected youngsters in the society. I perceived that children can either meet with caring parents in the center or others who treats the kids as not part of the family set up. Because children have to survive on their own after attaining eighteen years, the might indulge in risky behaviors, such as abuse of drugs and other forms of irresponsible sexual activities. I resonate that the foster children do not feel settled in the temporary homes.
What were the sources of your preconception?
The main sources of the preconception were some of my friends, who narrated their stories about their experiences in the temporary homes. I realized that most of them have no opportunity to seek for guidance from the foster parents and, thus, tend to indulge in risky behaviours later in life. Additionally, I had watched several films before watching the Aging Out on the subject of foster care. While some of them have a happy ending, others are sad based on the tough experiences of the children.
What are some of the factors influencing the decision of these foster youth to either stay within the foster care system or leave it?
Primarily, several factors influence the decision of children to either stay or leave the foster care centers. If the foster parents provides them with effective adoption services, they are likely to stay longer within the foster care centers. Additionally, ethnic background is a factor that determines length of stay in the care centers. The African American males are likely to stay longer than the female counterparts in the temporary homes.
Has your opinion or views of the foster care system and those who are in it changed after watching the film. If so, how? If not, why?
No, my preconception has not changed after watching the Aging Out film. Just like I had assumed that children from foster care centers have to live independently, the tree adolescents in the film have to survive on their own without an opportunity to gain knowledge on how survive during their childhood.
Did anything in the film surprise you? If so, what was surprising? And why was it surprising?
I was surprised after watching the Aging Out film. I realized that the transition from adolescence to adulthood is challenging even to the mature youths.
What is our community’s responsibility for young people leaving foster care?
The community has a responsibility to take care of the youths and ensure that they do not indulge in risky behaviours after leaving foster care centers.
Based on the film what support systems/networks do you feel were needed to assist their transition to independent living?
According to the Aging Out film, the government should implement effective systems to provide counselling and job opportunities to youths to assist their transition towards an independent life.
In conclusion, Roger Weisberg, the director of Aging Out film, inspires youths from the foster care system to make a path for themselves and live independently. They have to learn to overcome different forms of hardships and struggles to take charge of their future. Most children living in homeless shelters are the former beneficiaries of foster care centers. Weisberg reveals that the three adolescents in the film have to provide for themselves and get along with the rest of the world. Although other documentaries reveal the negative repulculsions of living in such places, Weisberg has a core objective to motivate the youths that are currently in it. He reveals daunting chronicles of three youths from a foster care, who have to live without being depending on their parents.