24 May 2013
The foster care system is the number one establishment in this nation that was built specifically to protect children. In my case it took more than five years of verbal abuse, neglect and rape for me to finally get my protection–not just food, shelter and clothes, but a real loving family who I knew would never hurt me.
23 May 2013
The sun slowly stretched over the horizon and I was still awake, packing my bags. As the break of day crept nearer, my anticipation, and eagerness, peaked. “What would my life be like over there?” My foster parents called me weird. I just wanted to be prepared. After all I was going to live in yet another foster home, my third in just one year. It was part of my normal routine of hoping for the best, yet preparing for the worst.
22 May 2013
I once read that the family is the project of the person. Family is the space in which human life begins, and in which it is nurtured and cherished. It is the place in which a person first learns what it is to love by being loved–where a person learns what it is to have dignity by having dignity extended to them. Family provides a sense of community. And community is where a child can begin to visualize their place and belonging in the world.
21 May 2013
Our past shapes our future. It allows us to appreciate the blessings, joys, and pains that are before us now. I am writing this blog from one of the world’s most renowned institutions, The University of Chicago — School of Social Service Administration (SSA). I am currently a graduate student, pursuing my Atrium Magister (AM) in Social Work with an emphasis on Poverty and Inequality Public Policy. I love saying that because it is something that I never thought in the 22 years of my existence would be possible.
20 May 2013
State custody saved my life; it also ruined it. Inside, I’m a mess but I do my best to make sure you would never know it if you saw me.
18 May 2013
I came into the child welfare system at 12 years old, and I had no idea what to expect. I suffered severe emotional and physical abuse at the hands of my mother and stepfather; as a result I began to run away from home. This only led to more troubles, as by the time I entered foster care I had already been raped and sexually assaulted by people I thought were my friends. Needless to say there was no safe haven for me, and my mind had been programmed to believe that if I didn’t hurt others, I would be the one getting hurt.
17 May 2013
Some people would guess that foster care would have been the best thing for me. Life with my biological mother was tough. I never really had stability. My mother used and dealt drugs, and she neglected us. We moved all the time. We were never really in school, and I was very behind in my education. I have five siblings, and we pretty much raised each other. And that is what led to me being put in foster care for nine years, until I aged out at 18.
16 May 2013
Accomplished civil rights attorney Richard Fields died on April 13, 2013, after being struck by a vehicle in Memphis, TN. Children’s Rights joins a host of human rights advocates who mourn his loss.
16 May 2013
Completing high school while in foster care is not easy. I was placed into care after my mom was diagnosed with a mental illness and wasn’t able to adequately care for me anymore. I had to encourage myself to do my schoolwork while transitioning through the foster care system and dealing with problems that could easily keep any student from earning a diploma.
14 May 2013
At the age of 35, when I was writing my autobiography, I called my mother. “I need three things to make this more interesting for the reader–how much did I weigh, what time was I born, and at what hospital.” She told me and hung up. About an hour later she called back with my father on the line and gave me the shock of my life. “We have something else to tell you. You were a month old when we brought you home and you were adopted.” That’s when I learned I started out in foster care.