Foster care

I grew up in a farm family of 10 children. We all learned to work at an early age. We were given age appropriate jobs to do.

My first job was to bring in the kindling. An older sibling brought in the wood. As time moved on, I graduated to bringing in the eggs as well.

I regarded it as an honour to be of help to the family. Later, I graduated to milking cows.

I realize that farm families have a definite advantage over city kids as there are always age appropriate jobs on a farm. However, the government should encourage foster families to assign chores on a daily basis.

When these foster children reach age 16, insist that they get part-time jobs. I don’t care if it is stocking shelves at the local super market or working at McDonald’s.

They absolutely need to do this to establish a work ethic and to gain job experience.

In this way, when they age out, they can use this job experience to present to a prospective employer at least a modest resume.

To raise the age of eligibility is encouraging dependance or an attitude of entitlement.

Encourage, instead, independence and a good work ethic.

I’ll tell you what, in our family, there wasn’t a lazy one in the bunch. And of course no one was deprived of food, but we all worked for the common good.

I have nieces who at age 11 can cook a meal, bake bread, make beef jerky and bake cakes and cookies, and do it well. See the difference?

Jeannette Spooner

Vernon