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.
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.
NEVADA: Dakota experienced several disrupted relationships before foster care. His father had abandoned him and his mother by the time he was one. His mother remarried, but his stepfather emotionally abused him. When they tired of raising him, he was sent to live with his maternal grandparents at age nine. His grandparents taught him to sell drugs which caused his removal to foster care at age 11. He spent the next six years living in multiple foster care homes and institutions. Over the years, Dakota became more withdrawn and isolated.
KANSAS/MISSOURI: In the first week of 2021, four Kansas children entered the foster care system. Their mother, who is burdened with unhealed trauma, cannot care for them.
Surviving Trauma: Connect Our Kids Ambassador Lisa Cohen Shares Her Path from Foster Child to World-Champion Boxer
Growing up in the District’s foster care system, Lisa Cohen bounced among 13 different families over 19 years.