A Broken System and an Unbreakable Will

By LaQuana Chappelle

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 […]

Making Foster Care Right

By Emalee Wooton

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 […]

Children’s Rights Remembers Civil Rights Attorney Richard Fields

Accomplished civil rights attorney Richard Fields died on April 13, 2013, after being struck by a vehicle in Memphis, Tennessee. Children’s Rights joins a host of human rights advocates who mourn his loss. A native of Modesto, California, Fields came to Memphis in 1969 with the “Teacher Corps,” and received his law degree from the […]

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 […]