Building a Movement

By Sandy Santana, Interim Executive Director of Children’s Rights

My son Julian spends hours racing his toy cars, sprints to be the first when the doors open at school, and slowly nibbles his dinner to savor every morsel – and delay bath time. He also listens, watches and absorbs everything that goes on around him. Julian, 7, is a quiet, sensitive kid. A stern […]

Ernesto’s Story

By Ernesto Olivares

My name is Ernesto, and I’m a 24-year-old gay man. I wasn’t always open about my sexuality. I spent years in foster care, afraid to come out of the closet. When I was 13, my little brother and I were put into state care and placed in a shelter. I was scared, the guys were […]

Waiting for My Golden Opportunity

By Herman Thomas

Childhood is supposed to be a time of discovery and innocence. But it doesn’t always work out that way. It didn’t for me or my sister. We grew up in foster care in a loving home out in the country. We had a big back yard, chickens, pigs, fresh vegetables to eat and caring foster […]

Reality of Aging Out

By Tanya Cooper

I never thought I would say it, but you must go through something in order to gain experience for your true calling. Going through foster care affected my life by making me stronger. My mom was an alcoholic and heroin addict who would eventually die from her addiction. She would lose track of time and […]

The Foster Kid Never Fades

By Delena Meyer

Foster kids know “Imposter Syndrome” better than anyone. New families, schools, dynamics, politics and rules make finding yourself and trusting who you are a near impossibility. We learn to mistrust authority by having parents who couldn’t parent. We learn to question ourselves by having no stable place to explore identities and personas. I learned early […]

The Dealer of Hope

By Kamilah Badiane

I once read a quote that stated, “A strong woman loves, forgives, walks away, lets go, tries again, and perseveres … no matter what life throws at her.” By that definition, I am a strong woman. My mother is also a strong woman, and I love her more than I can fathom, but when she […]

Foster Care is an Opportunity to Succeed!

By Jamie Schwandt, Ed.D.

I spent most of my small town Kansas childhood on the fast track to a life destined for failure. My parents were plagued with addiction, and because of that, I was surrounded by drugs, alcohol, and depression at an early age. This created an environment of limits — limited prosperity, limited stimulation and limited expectations. […]

My Experiences in Foster Care

By Brittany Hines Clark

Growing up in foster care can be challenging. It can also be a good thing, as weird as that sounds. Some children come from terrible situations within their biological families and they will be helped in a home where there is love and support; at times foster care can provide more opportunity and a better […]

Rising Above the Chaos

By Robert E. Thomas

I still remember the chaotic day when my seven siblings and I went into foster care. My mom left to go drinking, and my 2-year-old brother was locked in the house by himself. The rest of us could not get in. Fire trucks and police cars came, officers broke in and we were taken away. […]

Never Lose Hope

By Tammylinn Clutter

All my life I knew there was a reason for me being in foster care. Maybe this is it, to get my story out there. I was just 18 ½ months old when I was removed from my biological mother and placed in a foster home after neighbors reported that my brother and I were […]