FLORIDA: Sixteen-year-old Omar* loves pizza. He also loves school, playing video games, and being artistic. When he was in elementary school, Omar’s mother passed away. He couldn’t live with his father because he was in jail. Omar then went on to live with his grandparents and did not experience foster care as a result. After […]
TEXAS/OHIO: Little Anna* used to go to school, smelling like cigarettes as she wore soiled clothing and tattered shoes. Fearing that Anna would be ridiculed, her teachers would take her aside before class, clean her up, comb her hair, change her clothes and give her new socks and shoes. They also reported her neglect. The school’s reports, […]
KANSAS: Stacy was removed from her home at age five. Her story is sad and familiar; she had an absent father, who was also a drug user and had a history of neglect. Now 15, Stacey has lived in over 50 placements and is described as angry.
COLORADO: Zeke, an intelligent, assertive and athletic boy had a habit of pushing people who care about him away. This became noticeable after one of his last foster parents fell in love with him and wanted to adopt him. After they shared the good news, Zeke began to sabotage the relationship and was unfortunately removed from the home.
VERMONT: Daniel* had a close relationship with his great aunt, but unfortunately they lost contact after he was placed in state custody because his parent refused to share any family information with the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Chaos is normal to foster youth but with Alexis and Justin Black’s book, “Redefining Normal: How Two Foster Kids Beat the Odds and Discovered Healing, Happiness, and Love,” they aim to create a better life for themselves as well as show other survivors a pathway to healing and growth.
OHIO: Children who enter foster care routinely have developmental delays and difficulties with focus and attention. A developmental delay occurs when a child has not reached developmental milestones expected compared to their peers of similar age. These delays can show up in the child’s speech and language, motor functions, cognitive, play and social skills.
Justin Black spent his childhood growing up in Detroit, Michigan. It was in Detroit where he avoided CPS, normalized the rampant drug use around him while also living in abandoned housing and hopping from one homeless shelter to another. Winter in an abandoned house was particularly rough for him and his family. With no running water or heat, Justin spent months scooping snow off of the ground, then carried those buckets inside and waited for the icy snow to melt. The melted snow was used as water for his makeshift showers. Then there were the years in foster care.
We often wonder if our People Search and Family Connections tools are making a difference for children in foster care and family finding professionals. We’re compelled to share one user’s email of how our software helped her find an aunt for a hard-to-place teenager.
COLORADO: Noah has bounced around the foster care system for a long time, his advocate worked for more than two years on his case to find him a permanent home. With each move, it becomes harder for Noah to achieve a healthy and stable relationship. His dedicated advocate, diligent in her search, often hoped he could have at least one person in his life who will be there for him always.