Resources and Awareness

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Month of Prayer, Week 5: The power of the Church

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As our Month of Prayer comes to a close, we would like to thank Megan Roberts for all her help on this blog! Read Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4 posts here on how we can help and pray for our city.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” –James 1:27

The Church is the institution God uses to show who His people are and a crucial part of how the love of God is demonstrated to a hurting world. The Church creates disciples who teach and obey Christ, and here, in James 1:27, we find exactly what kind of obedience God is after.

Praise God for the 15 churches who are currently partnering with DC127 and for the ways that we have seen God move through these churches to care for the vulnerable in the city.

This week we are praying for the churches who have already started partnering with DC127 and for more churches to join in their efforts. DC127 recognizes the power of the Church and believes that, if united, the Church could tangibly change the way things operate for children and families in the District.

This week will you prayer that the churches of DC will:

  • Care for children in foster care, single mothers, and other vulnerable families in our city in part by bringing new churches into the DC127 movement
  • Make disciples who open their homes and create cultures in their community where people who have been marginalized are welcomed and accepted
  • Find favor with the people of this city, including governing officials, that the work of DC127 might be more easily accomplished
  • Support those families among them seeking to host, foster, or adopt, and those that have fostered or adopted already

Here are some resources to learn more:

Watch an 8-minute video on why caring for children in foster care is the responsibility of the church.

Hear our keynote speaker from One City. One Hope 2014 cast a vision for what could happen in Washington, DC when the churches unite.

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#GivingDay : Will you help spread the word?

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Hey friends,

Giving Day 2016 is coming up on November 3rd! And we’re getting really excited.

At some point in time, someone told you about DC127. And before that someone told that person, and before them someone else shared about DC127, and so on. That’s how a network works. YOU spread the word. You share with another person at your church or in friend group. You are the one who keeps it growing. DC127 has only grown because people like you have helped spread the word.

And today, we need to share about DC127 more than ever.

Will you help us spread the word about Giving Day and invite your friends, family, and coworkers to join you in caring for DC’s children and families? Will you invite them to also invest in finding homes for children and support for families in crisis?Charli instagram pic

You might be surprised by what happens.

Can I tell you a quick story about what happens when people tell their friends about DC127?

We had a volunteer for Foster the City, one of our first events. Let’s call her Courtney. Courtney invited her housemates to also volunteer at Foster the City. These new volunteers believed in what DC127 was doing. So they took it back to their church. They introduced it to their pastors and their congregation, and their church became a partner church. Because Courtney shared DC127 with her housemates, a new church joined the DC127 network and they recruited volunteers, Host Homes, and helped spread the word to other churches.

We’ve only grown because people just like you have helped us spread the word.

Last year, you helped us raise $30,000. This year our goal is $40,000. We can do this, but only with your help. When you invite your friends to give on Giving Day, you’re helping us raise more money to find more families for children and support for families in crisis. You’re ensuring that we raise the funds we need to keep going and to keep growing. You’re equipping DC127 to reach out to more churches, find more volunteers, and ensure that we keep going until every child has a home.

Will you help make Giving Day a success?

Here are three ways you can be a Giving Day champion:

  1. Email 10 friends, share why you care about DC127, and invite them to give on November 3rd. If you send the list of names and emails you contact to info@dc127.org, we’ll track how much YOU raise. You can also set a personal goal ask people to contribute towards it. Find sample emails here.
  2. Post on Facebook once a week until November 3rd, and twice on the 3rd. (Sample posts below!)
  3. Tweet 5 reasons why you care about #GivingDay and invite your followers to join you. (Sample tweets below!)

Check out the sample posts and tweets at the bottom of this blog and click here for sample emails.Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 11.34.18 AM

I know it can be scary to ask people to donate. But when you invite your friends to support DC127 on Giving Day, you’re giving them the chance to invest in the lives of families and kids in DC.

If you have any questions at all, you can email us at info@dc127.org or call us at 202-670-1145.

Will you help make Giving Day a success by sharing the day with your friends and family?

Thank you for being part of this network and for believing with us that Washington, DC can be a place where every child has a home.

Best,

Chelsea, DC127 Executive Director

P.S. The Prospect is hosting a happy hour for us from 6-9pm on November 12th to celebrate. You should come (and invite all your friends)!

Click here to get pre-written emails to share

Facebook Posts

Hey friends – I’m part of a movement in Washington, DC called @DC127. On November 3rd, they are hosting their annual Giving Day. Would you take a second and learn more about it? When you donate to DC127, you help build bridges between families in crisis and the support they need. Learn more and read about a mom named Aniya here: http://bit.ly/2ehxUky

I think every kid deserves a family. And we all know it takes a village. Today in DC, there are kids who don’t have a family and families who need help. Will you join me and support @DC127 on their Giving Day to find families for kids and get DC families the help they need? http://bit.ly/2ehxUky

Today is @DC127’s Giving Day! When you donate, you build a bridge between families at-risk of being separated by foster care and the support they need. I’d be honored if, as my friend, you invested in a movement I care so much about: http://bit.ly/2epfXgb

Tweets!

Send this Tweet:I’m part of @reversethelist because every child deserves a home. Help me make their work possible? #GivingDay http://ow.ly/I5uy305hdEU

Send this Tweet: #DC can be a city where EVERY child has a home. You can make this possible. @reversethelist  #GivingDay #fostercare http://ow.ly/OG8D305he9C

Send this Tweet: Today I’m supporting @reversethelist so families get the help they need to stay together. Join me? #GivingDay http://ow.ly/VONV305her1

Send this Tweet: Nothing will change for kids in #DC unless we act. Join me today for kids in #fostercare- #GivingDay @reversethelist  http://ow.ly/7W6s305heS4

Send this Tweet: Struggling families should have access to the help they need to stay together. @reversethelist  #SafeFamilies http://ow.ly/KPhW305heWK

Send this Tweet: I’m part of @reversethelist . Check out their work  (http://ow.ly/cLuV305hf1Z) & make it happen on #GivingDay http://ow.ly/tg6V305hf3c

 

Month of Prayer, Week 4: For the People of God

Posted by | Blog, Faith, Foster Care and Adoption, Resources and Awareness | No Comments

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We’re marking February as a month of prayer (read more about why this is important here). Join us each week as we pray for a different aspect of the child welfare system and our call to care for children and families. You can read last week’s post here.

In 2012, a small group of people at The District Church were praying about how they could get involved in caring for kids in foster care. Through prayer and investment from other local churches, DC127 was created. The reach of DC127 would not be possible without the efforts of our local churches. We have 10 partner churches, have recruited 23 Host Homes, are serving 10 foster families, and have over 100 volunteers. While we are thankful for the favor we have had so far, the need is still great. There are over 1,100 children in DC’s foster care system, and even more children are at-risk of entering foster care. This week, will you join with us to pray for churches to answer God’s call, care for children and families, and demonstrate the love of Christ to a hurting city?

This week, will you pray with us for:

  • Churches already involved: Thank God for the pastors, deacons, volunteers, and Church Coordinators already helping advance the mission of DC127 in their own communities. Pray that they would continue to sustain their efforts.
  • Future churches working with DC127: Pray that God would continue to call pastors and congregations to labor alongside DC127, and for churches to specifically join us in creating Safe Families teams and supporting parents choosing to adopt or create foster homes. Pray for churches that represent all demographics to join and work together for our city.
  • Church Coordinators: Our Church Coordinators make DC127’s work possible. Thank God for existing volunteer coordinators, who organize and run DC127’s ministry in their churches. Pray that God would continue to grow them and grant them favor as they work with their pastors and congregations to rally support and organize for DC127.
  • Church communities: Pray that the communities around our churches would take note of the work they are doing and respond not only with an interest in the work they do with the foster system, but with open hearts to the Gospel.

Thank you for praying with us!

And we’d like to say a special thank you to Megan Roberts from Restoration Church who wrote the blog for this month. She made these blogs happen. Thank you, Megan!

 

Here are some resources to learn more:

Watch our friend Jason Weber talk about why we all need to bring our gifts, talents, and skills to the table in order to make something awesome happen.

 

Hear our keynote speaker from One City. One Hope 2014 cast a vision for what could happen in Washington, DC when the churches unite:

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Update: February is Our Month of Prayer (and here’s why we really need it)

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A few years ago someone asked me what my biggest questions was. What’s one of the biggest questions I pose to God? At the time it was, “God, do I need you?” I knew that I needed God in a meta-cosmic sort of way – keep the sun orbiting, help me not get into car crashes- that sort of thing. But I was in a place where I wasn’t necessarily convinced that I needed God to intervene in my day-to-day.

This Evelyn Christenson quote puts to words a thought I’ve been wrestling with: “We work, we pull, we struggle, and we plan until we’re utterly exhausted, but we have forgotten to plug into the source of power. And that source of power is prayer.”

Since I answered that question a couple years ago, I’ve had moments in my life where, without prayer, I pulled, struggled, and planned and got to the point of being exhausted. And I have a feeling that I’m not alone in this (and that I’ll get to that place again).DC127-0045

DC127 has a big vision. We believe God has called us, the churches and his people in Washington, DC, to care for, love, and support every child in foster care and the struggling families at-risk of being separated into care. We could pull, struggle, and plan our little hearts out (and we’ve definitely done that), but if we actually believe that we’re called to this, then we’re carrying out God’s vision. And if that’s true, then we won’t get far unless we admit our need for God and are in tune with how he is moving throughout DC.

We’re marking this February as a month of prayer for the DC127 network around the children in foster care and their families. Every Wednesday we’ll post a blog and send out an email guiding you to pray for different people and pieces involved in the child welfare system. We’ll pray for the young, single mom who is working so hard to keep her family together and feels like she has nowhere to go. We’ll pray for the teenager who has spent years in foster care and been in too many different homes, and we’ll pray he finds a family that he won’t ever leave. And we’ll pray for the system, for the social workers, the therapists, and all those who work in such a tough field every day.

Will you join us next month as we pray?

Brennan Manning wrote that “when we accept ownership of our powerlessness and helplessness, when we acknowledge that we are paupers at the door of God’s mercy, then God can make something beautiful out of us.” We’re powerless against making real change in DC for kids in care without Christ. We might be able to make a couple small changes, but I’m talking about real, long-term change where kids don’t wait to be in families and parents stop struggling alone. This is the kind of change I’m waiting for. By admitting and corporately acknowledging that we’re not going anywhere without God, I’m confident God will continue to make something beautiful through us.

I’m excited for February,

-Chelsea, DC127 Director

 

If you don’t get our newsletters, click here to sign-up and get reminders to pray each Wednesday.

Book Review: Ready or Not

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Are you considering becoming an adoptive or foster parent? If so, pick up this book. Over the course of 30 days, Pam Parish, herself a foster parent, will lead you through 30 themes relevant to adoptive or foster parenting. Each chapter will guide you as you think about pursuing foster care or adoption, asking you to consider many aspects of the journey, pointing you to relevant verses in the Bible, asking hard questions, and giving you space to write down your thoughts and feelings. Throughout this devotional, Pam shares from her own experience, encourages you to reflect on your reasons for embarking on this adventure, and makes sure your eyes are wide open before you do so.

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A few highlights:

On day one, Pam points out the Biblical mandate to care for the orphan and the fatherless, but notes that not every Christian’s call is the same in that regard. She writes, “It’s clear that God’s will is for all followers of Christ to take the gospel to the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s His will for everyone to pastor a church. In the same way, it’s God’s will that we care for the orphans, but that doesn’t mean every family is called to adopt. Too often, families confuse God’s whisper to get involved in the cause of orphans as a directive to add an orphaned child to their family. That can lead to heartbreak for even the most well-intentioned family.” You need to be sure of your calling before adding to your family in this way because you will return to the certainty of that calling in the more difficult moments.

Day 11 talks about adoption as legal and permanent. And foster care may not be permanent, but it is also a commitment. She writes, “When a child is placed in your home, you’ve committed to protect them, love them, and provide for them until the time comes for them to return to their family or enter permanency in another way.” Even when it’s really really hard, as a foster parent, you’ve committed to caring for this child. If things aren’t working out, you can’t just send them back. Days when you want to, you’ll need to return to what you know, that you were called to this. “This process isn’t about finding the right child to meet your needs; it’s about being the right parent to meet theirs.”

The point of foster care and adoption is to provide a loving environment for a child whose birth family is unable to. Ultimately, you want the child to adapt and grow in your family. But to do that, she needs to be able to trust you completely. The theme for day 14 is Trustworthy, and it warns you about how children discover whether you are a trustworthy person: they test you. Again and again. They act out. They shut down. They do all kinds of things to find out if there’s anything that will make you give up—and prove yourself untrustworthy in your promise to care for them. You must remain true to your calling to stand by these children and be unshakeable—no matter what they throw at you.

This 30-day journey will bring ideas and concepts to your attention that you might never have considered. It will be an invaluable tool for helping you determine if adoption or fostering is for you and preparing you for some of what lies ahead if you decide it is.

 

Foster care in the news: CASA edition

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  1. Children’s voices heard through CASA volunteers. Are you passionate about what you do? Are you unafraid to ruffle feathers to defend what you believe? Do you voluntarily invest your time, energy and countless car miles in pursuit of justice?
    CASA of Central Virginia volunteer Sunny Simone’s answers would be, yes, yes and I do.
  2. CASA of Union County is changing lives, one child at a time. CASA volunteers unselfishly dedicate their time, energy and, most important, their heart, to Union County’s abused and neglected children currently in foster care. Each of these 405 children deserves to have their voices heard. CASAs, who work with only the child’s best interests in mind, advocate on behalf of each child — whether it be educational, medical, emotional or beyond
  3. First CASA Black Tie affair comes to Richmond. When abused or neglected children are moved by court order to group or foster homes overseen by the state social and legal agencies, they can get lost in these sometimes overburdened systems.As an extra layer of protection, judges appoint “special advocates” who volunteer to watch over individual cases.For many abused children, their count-appointed special advocate (CASA volunteer) will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.
  4. CASA volunteers serve youth in the court system. Sometimes, children get swept into Ravalli County’s justice system through no action of their own, in cases that may involve abuse, neglect, or even exploitation. Others may have been declared “delinquent.”
  5. My journey from pain and fear to love and hope. I was 6 and my sister was 4 when we were taken away from our mom. It was an awful time. We were terrified. But there was one person who stood by us through all the upheaval. She was there for us every time we needed her, making sure we were OK.Her name was Miss Belle. She was our CASA volunteer.
  6. Honoring my grandfather’s memory through CASA. When my sister-in-law told me about a volunteer opportunity with CASA advocating on behalf of children in need, I knew that was how I wanted to give back. I feel in a way I honor my grandfather’s memory through my work with these children.
  7. “Being a CASA is my heart’s work.” When Tammy first heard about the CASA cause while watching an episode of the Dr. Phil Show in 2009, she knew it was for her.
  8. Foster children stories. The followings stories are real and came from the book “Someone There For Me” published by the CWLA Press and edited by National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association. The pictures are royalty free images used to protect the real identity of the foster children.
  9. “Our CASA was our voice.” I believe my focus and my worldview—that it is not the falling that matters, but the rising every time we fall—is in large part due to the attention that my siblings and I received from our CASA volunteer.
  10. “I am the reason you should never give up on a child.” I’d like to share with you a little of how CASA’s powerful commitment to children has influenced my life.

Want more info on becoming a CASA? Check here.

6 ways to help foster kids without becoming a foster parent

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We get it. Not everyone is in a place to be a foster parent right now. So what can you do to help kids in foster care? Quite a bit, actually. Adopt Us Kids offers several ways you can make a difference in the life of a foster kid—without committing to care for one full time:

  1. Train to be a court-appointed special advocate. We’ve written a few posts about this recently, and we’ll have more in coming weeks. You don’t have to be a lawyer or a social worker to speak up for a kid in foster care. You just have to be able to commit to seeing through a case, which typically takes one-and-a-half years. Advocating for a child involves gathering information from all the people in his life and presenting that information to a judge to help determine the best outcome for the child. To qualify, you have to go through training and a background check. Find out more here.
  2. Mentor a child. We talk about mentoring a lot here at DC127. That’s because it can have such an impact on the life of a child in foster care. As with a CASA, a mentor could be the only consistent adult in an itinerant teen’s life. Several programs offer opportunities to invest time in helping a child in foster care succeed. BEST Kids is one of many in the DC area alone. If you’re interested in getting connected as a mentor, send us an email at volunteer@dc127.org, and we’d be happy to help you find the right organization for you.
  3. Offer Your Photography Services. Do you take pride in capturing a telling expression on a face? Or taking fun, candid shots? Foster agencies need you! Often a parent’s first introduction to a child he or she might foster is a picture—and agencies need people to take those pictures! Use this database to find agencies that would benefit from your talents. Or contact the Heart Gallery of America Program, which uses framed photos in its expos and galleries to raise awareness about children waiting to be adopted.
  4. Become a Respite Provider. Foster parents need date nights, too! Do you love hanging out with kids and rue the fact that your nieces and nephews live so far away? Consider getting your kid fix by giving foster parents a break! You can provide temporary relief to a foster family by offering short-term child care. We would love to connect you to agencies and families in need of support- email us at volunteer@dc127.org.
  5. Donate supplies. It’s back-to-school time, and many foster kids won’t get anything new to start the year off right. Contact a local agency to find out how you can help make sure a child in foster care has some shiny new supplies.
  6. Sponsor a Foster Youth’s College Education.  Every year, tens of thousands of youth age out of foster care. They likely do not have family to help them transition to adulthood—or help with college expenses. Foster Care to Success ”connects the public to deserving college-bound foster youth” through a unique sponsorship program.

Book Review: Another Place at the Table

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Another Place at the Table
Kathy Harrison

Karen is a 7-month-old baby girl whose mother can’t kick her drug habit. Lucy is a sweet 8-year-old whose teen mom is too immature to care for her. Danny is a sullen 4-year-old boy whose special needs mom couldn’t care for herself, let alone him. Sara is a 6-year-old who has never known an adult who didn’t abuse her. Kathy and Bruce Harrison welcome all these children and many, many more come into their home, some for a night and some forever. But all are guaranteed a safe and loving home for the duration of their stay.

Kathy and Bruce didn’t set out to become foster parents. They took the training and became certified because it was required in order to adopt two sisters, one of whom Kathy fell in love with when she was a Head Start teacher. When the adoption was finalized, they felt that five children (three biological sons and the two adopted daughters) was enough. But social services kept calling. At first Kathy and Bruce said no. But the sad stories broke their hearts. Kathy knew she could offer what so many of these kids needed. So they started saying yes. And eventually, Kathy left her Head Start job and devoted herself full time to parenting children in foster care.

In this page-turner, Kathy describes in detail what foster parenting is like. She shares the stories of many of the children who have passed through her home, she reveals the inner workings of the foster care system, and she offers nuggets of wisdom learned through trial and error—and certainly not taught in foster care training. She also relates how her children have taught her many truths about the reality of foster care. For example, when Sara arrived on her doorstep, she learned children coming into foster care don’t always have a toothbrush. Or even underwear. And when 3-year-old Tyler is returned to a birth family that still needed so much help, she learned that often, to foster means “learning to be satisfied with giving Band-Aids to children and families who needed intensive care.”

“This book is not intended to shock, although it may do that,” Kathy writes. “It was not written to change public policy. I’m far too much of a realist to expect that. It is only the story of one family’s journey through the maze of a social service system and of the children who unwittingly led the way.”

Kathy pulls you so thoroughly into her world that you’ll find yourself clutching the cover of the book, anxious to learn the fate of her children. And when you turn the final page, you’ll  shake your head in gratitude that foster homes like hers exist to care for the children who so desperately need them. You may even be inspired to join their ranks.

If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent or supporting a foster family, email us: info@dc127.org. 

 

Redeeming her own past by training CASAs

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Continuing our series about the CASA program, today’s post is about one woman who trains CASAs. As part of their commitment, CASAs agree to pursue continuing education and this woman teaches a class that applies toward that. You can read our other posts about being a CASA here and here

“I am a survivor of the child pornography industry.”

This is how Elizabeth “Libby” Buchanan introduces herself to the audiences she teaches as a CASA trainer. And it’s as difficult to hear as it is to say. She has learned her students must be forewarned about her intro, because if they aren’t, they won’t hear anything she says for the next five minutes. And they need to be tuned in for every minute of her presentation. Even though she herself was never in the foster care system, because of her traumatic childhood, she has valuable insights into the feelings of the children these volunteers will be serving.

When Libby first heard about the CASA program, she knew she wanted to get involved, but she also knew she wouldn’t be able to handle being in courtrooms with perpetrators of violence and neglect against children. It would be too painful, bring back too many memories. CASAs are required as part of their commitment to get annual training, so Libby’s husband suggested she teach a class about helping CASAs understand where the kids in the system are coming from, as part of that continuing education. A friend who worked as a CASA approached her manager, who loved the idea, and Libby stepped into the classroom.

Libby organizes her presentation around helping CASAs understand how the children they’ll be working with are processing their situations. Most CASAs are not alumni of the foster care system. And since they are volunteering their services on behalf of these children, they expect gratitude. “I remind them that these kids are not going to be grateful for their assistance.” They’ve been through so much trauma, been disappointed by so many adults in their lives. A CASA is just one more stranger who gets a say in that child’s life. But, while the youngster may not ever appreciate a CASAs services, that CASA is absolutely essential. He may well be the only consistent adult in that child’s life.

She teaches the CASAs about normalizing, explaining that kids coming from abusive homes need to have “normal” redefined, because they see their abuse and neglect as normal. Often, they’ve never known anything else. They don’t realize their situation is abnormal until they’re taken out of it. “That’s hard for CASAs to understand,” Libby says, noting that children’s desire to return to an abusive situation is similar to the Stockholm Syndrome—an attitude as baffling to caseworkers and others charged with the care of the child as the syndrome is to the public. But the parent-child connection is a powerful one. And often, the child blames himself for being taken away.

She also explains that CASAs must set expectations for proper behavior and grooming for situations like appearing before a judge. And they must tell the child exactly what’s going to happen, what the child can expect. “Unpredictability is the scariest thing in these kids lives,” Libby relates. And often, they’re jerked around from one place to another without any explanation, which makes them feel confused and frightened, and adds to an already traumatic situation.

Another key component of her presentation is stressing the importance of keeping siblings together. Children have already been removed from their parents; their siblings are their last connection to the identity they know. Take away these remaining kin, and they feel utterly alone and abandoned. Libby acknowledges that it’s not always possible to keep siblings together, but she wants CASAs to know that this should be a top priority.

Because Libby speaks out of her experience, teaching is difficult. In fact, at first, she was terrified. “I made lots of people cry because it was so hard and they could tell.” But over time, she has found teaching redemptive. “I enjoy being a help to those who will be so helpful to [the children] assigned to them.”

Libby Buchanan is a Christian writer, teacher, speaker, mother and wife. You can read more about her at her website, libbybuchanan.com

Foster care in the news

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This is a monthly roundup of news and blog posts about foster care and all things related. Come across an interesting article we missed? Email us: info@dc127.org

  1. Removed: a short film about foster care. (video) Originally created for the 168 Film Festival, ReMoved follows the emotional story through the eyes of a young girl taken from her home and placed into foster care.
  2. Every time foster kids move, they lose months of academic progress. When 12-year-old Jimmy Wayne’s parents dropped him off at a motel and drove away, he became the newest member of the North Carolina Foster Care system. Over the next two years in the foster care system, he attended 12 different schools.
  3. Jesus, the judge and the orphan. As lawyers, case workers and court clerks scurried around the court room, we sat waiting – ignorant of the process but eager to see it end. We assumed our role would be minimal, more as a silent presence than an active participant. We were wrong.
  4. San Diego resources available for college-bound teens aging out of foster care system. (video) About 6,500 foster children in San Diego County, and many of them spend years moving from home to home. Each year, 300 will leave the foster care system when they turn 18.
  5. California schools get billions to track, boost foster children’s performance. California is embarking on a first-of-its-kind attempt to improve the academic lives of foster youth by giving schools more money to meet their special learning and emotional needs and holding educators and administrators accountable.
  6. Program helps L.A. foster youth become high school grads. Unlike most of her classmates, Alicia Rodriguez’ birth parents and siblings weren’t there to see her walk across the stage. Instead, her foster mother and sister were in the crowd, along with Aguayo and Hernandez, the Los Angeles County social worker and tutor who had helped her make it to graduation.
  7. They would hide their purses. It’s as if you get a card. It comes with the garbage bag full of your clothes. It’s the result of being a part of something so abnormal that most people don’t know anything about it. It’s not a physical card or stamp on your forehead but it’s always there. It’s always front and center. You’re scary. You’re dangerous. There must be something off about you. After all, you’re a foster kid.
  8. Why you should be a foster family. 9-year-old Ema shares why you should open your home to children in the system.
  9. Fostering failure? A look at the US foster care system. (video) Ronan Farrow meets with three young adults, who have recently “aged out” of the foster care system, as part of larger investigative report on the frightening reality that our foster care system may be setting up hundreds of thousands of young Americans to fail.
  10. House passes adoption incentives package; Senate expected to act soon. The House passed by voice vote last night a bill that could usher in significant reform of the federal role in the adoption of youths in foster care.
  11. Foster care forum highlights barriers to effective programs. A bureaucratic debate over sentence construction is denying health care to young adults who were once in foster care, a round table on child welfare learned Monday.
  12. My journey in foster care: The second most devastating day of my young life. Foster care was never explained to me. At least in a way I could understand at the time. I didn’t know that foster care was a temporary home, and not a permanent one.
  13. A safety net. Who helps local foster children when they age out of the system? No home. No money. No one to show them the way. Standing at a crossroads, with their few belongings packed into a bag, not sure where to go or what to do, is the spot that many local foster children find themselves in when they turn 18 and “age out” of the foster care system.
  14. Want to make a difference? Try foster parenting. Let’s face it: We all fare better with a little stability in our lives. For children whose families are in the throes of crisis, foster families can provide that firm footing.
  15. Across borders, foster youth ask: What’s missing? Alumni of foster care in Seattle and Tokyo believe systems in each country could gain from the voices of young people.
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