Everyone needs guidance and support at the major crossroads of life. Youth who age out of foster care are no exception. This documentary is designed to show us what kind of influence mentors can have on youth and young adults as they work to negotiate the decisions made at these crossroads.
Donovan, the film’s primary participant, is confronting many of these major decisions after recently aging out of the foster care system and facing the responsibilities of adulthood. The audience will intimately observe the intricacies of these decisions and how adults from different parts of his life get involved, for better or for worse.
What makes this film unique is that it draws upon his personal perspective. In addition to observational footage of him (gathered by a film crew), he is also given a camera in which he can record things that he thinks should be included in the film and giving him an opportunity to explain his decisions in his own words. This behind-the-scenes perspective can empower those in a position to mentor with empathy and understanding when interacting with people in Donovan’s shoes.
Whether it is finances, health care, transportation, employment or education choices, Donovan does not have the luxury of a traditional family support structure to guide him every step of the way or catch him when he falls. Social workers, medical professionals, educators and volunteers all have exceptional opportunities to mentor and guide youth and young adults in situations like Donovan’s because of their frequent exposure to them. This documentary will show us how they work with Donovan and how he responds to each.
This can change perceptions of foster youth, influencing child welfare policy, training and education, and encouraging responsible adults to mentor these newly emerging adults.