Sex Work and Foster Care: What M.D.’s Story Can Teach Us

By Elizabeth Gretter, Senior Attorney

I will never forget the moment in late 2013 in a courtroom in Corpus Christi, Texas, when we all learned that M.D. was still missing.   M.D., one of the Named Plaintiffs in our Texas case, had run away from yet another failed foster care placement and upon her return to care, told workers that she […]

Building a Better Future For The Kids Who Need Us Most

By CR Staff

2017 was a groundbreaking year for Children’s Rights. With individual donation dollars we have accomplished major achievements across the country: We launched a groundbreaking case in Iowa challenging lack of mental health care and improper use of solitary confinement and physical restraints at an all-boys state juvenile detention center.  We launched Healthy Kids, a holistic advocacy […]

Meet Edgar Carranza: Foster Youth Advocate

By CR Staff

23-year-old Edgar Carranza is a former foster kid and a foster youth advocate working with Georgia EmpowerMEnt. This week, Edgar addressed CR supporters in Atlanta, describing the realities and impact of living in state care. Q: How did you come to find yourself in state care? I was thrown into foster care at age 13 […]


By CR Staff

In response to the Trump administration’s announcement regarding the formal end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, Sandy Santana, executive director of Children’s Rights, released the following statement: “Children’s Rights condemns the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The repeal will upend the lives of hundreds of thousands […]

Meet Shay House: Foster Youth Advocate and LGBTQ Activist

By CR Staff

21-year-old Shay House is a foster youth advocate and LGBTQ activist from Oakland, California.  During her time in foster care, she lived in more than 40 placements and attended 23+ schools.  But against all odds, Shay persisted in her academic goals. This fall, she will be starting her junior year at Mills College where she […]

Ninth Circuit Rules That Unaccompanied Minors are Entitled to Bond Hearings

By CR Staff

Hector was detained as an unaccompanied minor in California at the age of fifteen by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Even though he had a parent living in the state, the ORR held him in a detention facility for almost a year and a half, without an immigration hearing or an explanation for why […]

Beating The Odds

By Samantha Smith

As Fostering the Future 2017 winds down we are taking a moment to reflect on lessons learned. Read Samantha’s account on what she struggled through within the foster care system while she was on her way towards attaining a college degree and becoming a social worker. “My message to my brothers and sisters in care? DO IT. Go to college. It’s scary. Everything that you’re unfamiliar with is scary. But you’re going to find so many new things about yourself and learn to advocate for yourself. And once you obtain your degree it’s the best feeling in the world. It’s something that foster care can’t take from you. It can rob you of your sense of stability and self-worth, but it cannot rob you of your education once you’ve earned it. And that’s more powerful than anything.” Click “Daily Spotlight” to read her whole story.

My Only Way Out

By Nyeelah Inniss

There are many reasons why youth in foster care–and those who aged out–miss school. Nyeelah, who had to commute almost 2 ½ hours during her senior year of high school, explains one of them in today’s post: “I was … yearning for the love and support of a parent, and I just wasn’t getting it. I stopped going to school some days, or would forget to turn in my homework, and just gave up.” Click “Daily Spotlight” to read all of Nyeelah’s story!

Bridging the Gap Between Foster Youth and Higher Education

By Bridging the Gap

Over the past month we have given you many first-person accounts from foster youth discussing the obstacles they faced on the path to higher education as part of #FosterMyEducation. Now, as Fostering the Future 2017 wraps up, we’ve collected accounts and perspectives of academics from across the country who are working towards bridging the gap between foster youth and higher education. Read now and discover why #FosterMyEducation was only the first step towards building a brighter future for America’s foster youth. Click “Daily Spotlilght” for the whole story.

Even the Success Stories Need Help

By Barbara Huggins

Meet Barbara and read her story about lessons learned as Fostering the Future 2017 wraps up today! “I was okay with my status for the most part. “I’m a foster kid,” I would tell my friends and my teacher. “I’m in foster care,” was comfortable for me to say. I gave a few presentations on my personal experiences to my classmates, which precipitated my advocacy work.

But after a while, my personal safety and well-being would impact my academics. I honestly don’t know how I managed school work and keeping up with my peers during my first eight years in foster care. I was in homes that were emotionally and physically abusive, which left me with an undercurrent of low self-worth and perfectionism born out of a fear of messing up and a desire to be loved unconditionally. I wish the schools I attended realized that when I forgot my homework, it was because I was thinking of my home life, and my life was full of anxiety.

Those times I forgot my homework cost me dearly because I would be inappropriately punished in my foster homes. The cycle of forgetting my homework would bring on abuse at home. Learning was impossible because mistakes became dangerous. The anxiety would cause me to zone out at school entirely, which meant that I would fall behind. I had a lot of potential, but the emotional toll of balancing my academics and personal safety was a big burden to carry.” Click “Daily Spotlight” to read her whole story.