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Foster Youth

No More Trashbag Kids

Michael Piraino | Posted 02.11.2015 | Impact
Michael Piraino

The nature of foster care in the United States creates at least two mindsets that are particularly damaging to foster children. These do not arise from experiences within the system, and from adult perceptions, that focus on failure.

Giving Back One Small Step at a Time

Georgie Smith | Posted 02.01.2015 | Impact
Georgie Smith

But all it takes is simple, small acts of kindness to change a single life for the better. When we all do it together, our collective efforts create real change.

They Have Each Other and Just Need a Family

Rhea Perlman | Posted 01.19.2015 | Los Angeles
Rhea Perlman

Josh is 14, Alize (pronounced a-li-zay) is 9. These kids are as sweet as they come. Josh is a strong, bright boy who likes math, science, basketball and all sports. He's a big Dodgers fan. Alize is pretty, petite, and soft-spoken. Her eyes twinkle with excitement.

Preventive Analytics and Child Protection

Daniel Heimpel | Posted 12.30.2014 | Impact
Daniel Heimpel

Sheffield's first reaction was "devastation, disappointment, depression, tragedy: any and everything that could be negative." Even if she didn't fully realize it as a pregnant teen in 2004, the prospects for her baby girl were less than optimal.

They Would Hide Their Purses

Chris Chmielewski | Posted 09.06.2014 | Impact
Chris Chmielewski

I got my card when I was fourteen. The card read this is one scary ass kid. He has clearly done something wrong. Probably a head case, definitely hide your valuables and watch what you say.

An Electronic Backpack: Helping Foster Youth Lighten a Heavy Load

Wendy Lazarus | Posted 07.16.2014 | Impact
Wendy Lazarus

As children and youth continue to age out of the foster care system, it's becoming increasingly important for public agencies to be forward-thinking and adopt new technologies that help foster youth make a smoother transition to adulthood.

The Budget Is Not Fair, Mr. Chair

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 07.02.2014 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

The way to end poverty is not to cut the very programs that are making the difference. What kind of leaders believe we can afford massive tax breaks for the richest one percent but cannot afford to meet the survival needs of all our poor children?

Homelessness at the Holidays Hits Hard for Kids in Foster Care

Gary Stangler | Posted 02.20.2014 | Impact
Gary Stangler

Last month I recalled the story of Antwone Fisher, who was informed upon aging out of foster care at 18 years old that he was on his own. He was directed to a nearby homeless shelter, and left to figure out the rest himself. That continues to happen every day across the United States.

Davion's Plea for A Family (And The 101,000 He Represents)

Kristen Howerton | Posted 01.23.2014 | Parents
Kristen Howerton

Maybe Davion's plea will create a bigger change than he ever imagined. Maybe it will prompt our nation to listen to the voices of foster youth who are asking for a family before it's too late.

Trying To Understand Why My Mom Abandoned Me

| Posted 06.20.2013 | Teen

This is a teen-written article from our friends at Represent Magazine, a platform for and by young people in foster care. Represent is published by Yo...

Foster Care Youth: The Faces of a Nation's Soul in Crisis

Claire Pomeroy | Posted 07.22.2013 | Impact
Claire Pomeroy

For some children, the uncertainty of life on the street is better than certainty of violence at home. It was for me. At age 14, I escaped from an abusive home with no money, nowhere to go and only the clothes I was wearing.

Congresswoman: The No. 1 Way To Help Foster Kids | Posted 01.29.2013 | Impact

Fifty percent of the nation’s more than 400,000 foster kids won’t graduate from high school under the current system and nearly 94 percent of thos...

Congress Passes Key Foster Care Education Bill

Daniel Heimpel | Posted 03.04.2013 | Impact
Daniel Heimpel

If signed by the president, Uninterrupted Scholars will amend the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to allow child welfare agencies access to foster student records.

The Heart Gallery

Angela Featherstone | Posted 12.17.2012 | Impact
Angela Featherstone

The Heart Gallery is an exhibit of photos featuring LA foster youth that highlights the need to find adoptive families for waiting children. As someone who spent more than a year in foster care, at first I felt conflicted about the concept of taking pictures of foster kids for public display.

Think of Children as an Investment, Not an Expense

Michael Piraino | Posted 12.11.2012 | Education
Michael Piraino

When government spending for education is heading down, what are people who care about children's success supposed to do?

Process, Paperwork Make Interstate Adoption a Bumpy Ride

Ryann Blackshere | Posted 11.19.2012 | Impact
Ryann Blackshere

Adopt US Kids provides interstate adoption trainings for social workers and department staff across the nation in an effort to help them better serve families.

Unfair! What About Older Foster Youth and Their Families?

Michael Piraino | Posted 10.17.2012 | Impact
Michael Piraino

Data doesn't have to lie to ignore the truth. In the case of the annual adoption and foster care report issued by the federal government, ignoring the full truth is unfair to foster youth.

Things Getting Better in Foster Care? Not So Fast!

Michael Piraino | Posted 10.09.2012 | Impact
Michael Piraino

Since the recession began, our advocates have been concerned that, as in past recessions, the number of children coming into care would initially decrease, but for the wrong reasons.

Wasting Money, Wasting Human Lives

Ellen Sloan | Posted 09.17.2012 | Impact
Ellen Sloan

Of the 400,000 youth in the foster system nationally, 19,000 are in Los Angeles County. Our county has more foster kids than any other county and more than some states. What better place to create a new model than right here?

Smashing Through the Glass Ceilings of Foster Care

Ellen Sloan | Posted 09.09.2012 | Impact
Ellen Sloan

College is not always the best option for every child, but each should be given the opportunity to consider going to college as part of their reality and not have the path automatically closed off to them, just because they are part of the foster system.

Why Affordable Care Act Is Good News For Former Foster Youth

Michael Piraino | Posted 09.02.2012 | Impact
Michael Piraino

Every year, some 26,000 young people who live in foster homes or group homes turn 18 (or in some states, 21) and "age out" of the system. Gone is any consistent, responsible adult presence or guidance. Gone is their health care coverage.

Foster Youth Debates Emancipation

Youth Radio -- Youth Media International | Posted 08.12.2012 | Home
Youth Radio -- Youth Media International

About 4,000 foster youth emancipate each year in California. Many of them have no place to go. A new law that went into effect this year aims to help ...

New Student Aid Limitations Could Challenge Former Foster Youths

Ryann Blackshere | Posted 07.02.2012 | Education
Ryann Blackshere

Looming changes to the Federal Pell Grant Program will jeopardize the college prospects of former foster youth, who often start toward higher education with no academic credentials and high financial needs.

My Foster Mom Told Me: 'I Don't Get Paid For You Anymore'

| Posted 04.10.2012 | Teen

This is a teen-written article from our friends at L.A. Youth, a nonprofit organization that helps teens advocate for themselves through journalism, l...

Have We Lost Our Moral Compass? Why Eliminate the Victims of Child Abuse Act?

Michael Piraino | Posted 05.23.2012 | Impact
Michael Piraino

Surely, our country's leaders did not intentionally pull the rug out from under hundreds of thousands of children. I have to believe the elimination of funding for the Victims of Child Abuse Act was an error.