KENTUCKY/OHIO: Starr’s* childhood was full of disappointments and family absences that shaped her low sense of self and lack of faith in families. She entered the foster care system at the age of 12 because her relatives could not give her the consistency she needed to thrive. Her father was absent from her life, and her mother’s family was not capable of providing for her.
Starr grew up not knowing what it was like to live in a positive home environment. By the time she was 15, she had lived in multiple foster care homes and residential facilities, which added to her trauma.
Then Starr moved in with a stable, nurturing foster family who began to break down the walls of self-protection that she had built around her. Living with a foster family that provided warmth and humor was a new experience for her, and she began to accept and value their support.
Starr’s new social worker used the Connect Our Kids technology platform to find her relatives and discovered a paternal grandmother she had never met. Starr began to learn about her family history, and she was delighted to know that her name came from a great-grandmother who immigrated from England. Her foster family teased that she had permission to use a British accent.
Although it may never be possible for Starr to live with her father’s extended family, her foster parents have planned a road trip to Ohio to meet her grandmother and learn more about her family history.
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*Name has been changed to protect privacy.