The Hidden Children: How Lumos is Empowering Social Change for Orphans Worldwide

Ten years into her signature philanthropic endeavor, Lumos, author J.K. Rowling has grown increasingly vocal about her disdain for developing world orphanages that do nothing to address the underlying needs of children and families.


Waking up from China’s Living Nightmare

Xiaoming Gao’s second son was due in one week, but she was already in the hospital in Jinjiang, China. She was there to undergo induced labor, and a nurse was responsible for taking her son away after the birth.


Why Do Foster Youth Suffer Sub-Standard Education?

Too many foster kids do not graduate high school and too few go on to learn a vocation or earn an advanced degree. Although we’re just as smart and capable as non-foster kids, the status of “ward of the court” often limits us to a sub-standard education.


“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.


    The Psychological Consequences of Separating Siblings in Foster Care

    The psychological stigma associated with being labeled an “orphan,” “foster child,” “ward of the court” or “at-risk youth” can play havoc with one’s self-esteem. The terms used to describe our lowly social status say that we are less than other kids: less fortunate, less worthy, less good, less capable, less important, less lovable … less almost everything.


    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.