foster care alumni
Rain Upon My Spirit: The Power of a Careless Remark
I am 25 years old, and still learning what it means to thrive versus simply survive after transitioning out of the foster care system. At a recent foster care event, I scanned the room from where I sat, watching the various child welfare and juvenile justice leaders, social workers, probation officers and foster youth in attendance.
“It Takes One to Know One”: The Need for Alumni Leadership in Child Welfare
“You’re an orphan, right? Do you think I’d know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you?”
How One Good Administrative Decision Can Reclaim a Child’s Life
Second chances can sometimes right a poor administrative decision. Such was the case for this confused teenager. Two months after returning home from the state hospital, he quit attending school. After all, his immature mind reasoned, it’s legal to quit school at 16 and, besides, he just didn’t have the brains or the interest.
How One Bad Administrative Decision Can Derail a Child’s Life
A lifetime ago, a confused 12-year-old boy finally came unraveled. The accidental offspring of a fling between a high school junior and her older band leader boyfriend, he had spent far too long overhearing his parents’ shouting matches.
Why Do Government Lawyers Run the Child Welfare System?
The foster care alumni movement asserts that child welfare professionals must meet increasingly higher standards of knowledge the more they influence the lives of at-risk youth. This is especially true for non-alumni whose decisions affect the most foster children.
Who Says Kinship Care is a “Best Practice?” Not These Alumni!
Without due consideration for alumni feedback, politicians, judges, social workers and other policymakers have deemed kinship care a “best practice.” But what if this seemingly logical assumption is not a panacea at all, but, rather, another danger zone; further evidence of the necessity of listening to what alumni know from personal experience?
Foster Families or Orphanages: What do Alumni Say?
Prior to President Teddy Roosevelt’s 1909 White House Conference on the Care of Dependent Children, institutional placement was considered the “best method” of caring for dependent youth. Boards of trustees comprised of community leaders volunteered to oversee the operation of these institutions.
A History of Exploiting America’s Foster Youth: Part Three
Note: This is part three of a three-part look by columnists and former foster youth Waln Brown and John Seita about the darker side of foster care in America. Click here to read Part One, and click here to read Part Two.