A Former Life and a Fresh Start

By Daniel Weinberg

When I was 8 years old, my mom became a “single mother” – a member of a population recognized for facing numerous challenges. My father’s death, from diabetes complications, brought these challenges. Her mental illness (bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia) only strengthened them. She felt she was under attack from all sides. The culprits ran the […]

A Life Shaped by Foster Care

By Rhiannon Hall

My foster care experience began when I was 14 years old. For me foster care was foreign and scary and created a lot of complex emotions–many of which I still carry with me. I believe the experience has had a huge role in determining who I am today, both as a person and as a […]

Lost in The System

By Valena Hamilton Koontz

Growing up in foster care from the age of 3 to 17, I don’t know where to start. There were 40 placements, so I was told. I may correct that number later. I can remember everything like it was yesterday; people, names, faces, placements, group homes. I am half Native-American and African-American. I am enrolled […]

Uncertainty, and a Black Trash Bag

By Dylan M.

You’re 5 years old. You’re lying flat on your stomach at the top of the stairs, listening to your social worker tell your foster mom that you have to go to another foster home. This always scares you, and makes you wish you were a normal kid. Most of what happens doesn’t faze you, but […]

Youth in Foster Care Can Stay Strong and Thrive

By Patricia Virgil

Hello, my name is Patricia. When I was placed in foster care I was angry and felt abandoned by my mother. I was 12 when I was pulled away from my family and placed in a foster home. I was given an opportunity to be adopted, but I turned it down, because I wanted my […]

A Letter to Youth in State Care

By Ryniqueka Dowell

Dear Current Foster Youth, My name is Ryniqueka Dowell. I am 21 years old and I attend California State University, Sacramento. I am a part of the Guardian Scholars Program, which helps former foster youth financially, mentally, and physically. They are here to make sure we succeed. I was put in foster care at age […]

Finally, A Loving Family

By Deanna

My name is Deanna. When I was 3 1/2 years old and my sister Alyssa was just an infant, we were found all alone in a cardboard box a New Jersey swamp. We had been abused and neglected by our birth parents, and were placed into foster care. Alyssa and I had three older siblings […]

A Rough Road to Success

By Michael Weinstein

I went into foster care in my early teens. I remember it like it was yesterday. The long ride to an unknown house I would live in. With a family I had never met. Not knowing what to expect…How would I be treated? Where would I sleep? Would I have my own room? What kind […]

Finding Support and Encouragement in Foster Care

By Michaela Sanderson

After sitting down to write this, I begin to recall every memory I typically wish to forget. I began to think about my mom and dad’s frequent arguments, consisting of nothing but pure hatred for one another. I still remember the terrifying moments of watching my dad beating my mom. I was beyond angry with […]

Coming Full Circle: My Foster Care Journey

By Tomas Rios

When I was 5, my mother passed away and I entered New York City foster care. I quickly saw just how bad it can be inside a broken child welfare system. In the first home, I was treated like I didn’t even exist. It felt bad to be ignored, but I learned to be grateful […]