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Foster Care System

7 Re-affirming Things I Remember, in Pajamas

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 02.10.2013 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

Soon we'll be able to read with 3,000 children in need each year. These are exciting times with increasing support and new plans coming into fruition. But growth mode is scary too.

Giving Thanks for Adoptive Families

Rep. Karen Bass | Posted 01.27.2013 | Black Voices
Rep. Karen Bass

If you have yet to think of adoption, please take this holiday season to remind yourself of what family means to you and how good it would feel to offer those same blessings to a child in need.

Five Ways to Love Them

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 01.27.2013 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

Letters and notes from the children we serve have guided me to five answers, especially where our teens are concerned: Listen. Don't judge. Hear their call for help. Take a step toward, not away, from them. Never forget them.

Pajamas Post-Sandy

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 01.05.2013 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

Thanksgiving is around the corner and I believe its sentiment has arrived early.

Stuffing a Bus With Pajamas

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 12.18.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

Sometimes I am sure I see a spark in a child's eye when he's on line with his classmates to put his gifts on the bus that tells me he gets it -- it's about helping someone else, not just once, but in the days and years to come.

His Soaring Spirit

Mike Lux | Posted 12.10.2012 | Impact
Mike Lux

I have many times had friends of the family say to me how wonderful it was that my parents took Kevin in, and it was. But our family's payoff from having Kevin as our brother and son and loving uncle to all our nieces and nephews was far, far greater than what we gave.

"Danger Season" Is Here

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 11.25.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

There are those jarring moments in life when reality sets in. Moments like the realization that not everyone is lining up to take in every little boy.

A Pot of Gold

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 11.10.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

I no longer yearn for those pot of gold gifts I wanted when I was younger - a jaguar to drive and a fancy house to live in. I am grateful for my pajamas and books just as much as the little boy in the letter is. And I know giving is the real gift.

Finding Hope after Trauma: The Remarkable Recovery of the Adolescent Brain

Gary Stangler | Posted 10.26.2012 | Impact
Gary Stangler

In an ideal world, no young person would ever experience trauma. But until that happens, let's make sure that all young people have the support necessary to rewire and recover. They deserve nothing less.

To Dream and Belong

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 10.23.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

We're sending wishes for them to find friendship with other children, acceptance among adults and recognition in our world.

Mural of Mail

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 10.09.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

When we pack up each box we never know who will wear the sweet mermaid nightgown or exciting spiderman pajamas or who will go to sleep holding a new, bright yellow Curious George book.

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.

Fixing the Hurt

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 09.26.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

I sometimes feel overwhelmed by how much we promise all the children who are waiting for our pajamas and books. Will we receive enough support every year to get through our wait list? Can we deliver on our promise?

Look Back Anniversary Is a Time to Call for New Direction

Christine James-Brown | Posted 09.18.2012 | DC
Christine James-Brown

As we recognize the 16th anniversary of the "look back" eligibility requirement for federal foster care assistance, the time has come to urge Congress to change direction. It's time for all us to join together and stand up for all children.

First PJs

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 09.15.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

ometimes we can see emotions on faces of the children and imagine what their lives are like, but we can never know the answer to the most important question: Is he loved?

Her Own Clothes

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 08.27.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

I remember as a child loving to visit my friends' houses. Sleeping in someone else's home was a treat. Now I can't help but wonder how many of the children we see at Pajama Program wish for a mundane routine in a home of their own.

Too Afraid to Ask

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 08.13.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

While most of us grapple with fears of change, or fears we'll make a wrong move, can you imagine what it's like to be afraid to ask for something as simple as a book?

From the Mouths of Children

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 07.31.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

I have learned a lot about life from some very smart people: children. Some of the simplest, purest truths have been told to me by six-year-olds.

Commemorating National Foster Care Month

Rep. Karen Bass | Posted 07.24.2012 | Parents
Rep. Karen Bass

The health and happiness of foster children is in our hands, and together, with assistance from our communities, we can provide the same care that we give to our loved ones.

For Joni's Whole Life

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 07.07.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

We often hear about children in our Pajama Program reading groups who are transferred -- children we'll probably never see again. I can't help but won...

A Stranger Makes Magic

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 06.11.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

It was amazing to see him nestling close to her in complete silence, as she read to him page by page. Genna had no idea about Timothy's past behavior. She had no idea what magic had happened.

Ripples of Change...

Tom W. Watson | Posted 06.04.2012 | Impact
Tom W. Watson

My birth parents were ill-prepared to care for me as an infant, and I was taken into custody by the Ministry of Social Services at the tender age of one. During the following four years, I endured emotional trauma and physical abuse.

The Raindrop That Changed My Life

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 05.29.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

As the children came into the room to sit and read with me, I gave each one a pair of pajamas. One little girl wouldn't take pajamas from me. She stood perfectly still, looked up at me, and asked in a whisper, "What are these?"

Her Name Is Mom

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 05.16.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

A little boy once asked me, "If the children don't have moms, how do they grow up?" He looked very puzzled. It was a good question and I didn't have a good answer for him.

A National Foster Care Movement

Daniel Heimpel | Posted 05.07.2012 | Impact
Daniel Heimpel

Over the span of the past two weeks, from my unique vantage point, I have seen two telling signs that the national movement to improve foster care is growing and, more importantly, developing the infrastructure for a sustained, youth-driven political movement.