On April 25th 2014, 40 dedicated staff, caseworkers, lawyers, social workers, advocates and foster care alumni from around NYC gathered to take stock and start a plan to transform the system.
To start, we were all asked to think about what family has meant in our lives. The list was long and profound.
“Family is the essence of my being.”
“Family is always there for me.”
“No matter what you’ve done, there is that cradle of support.”
“Family is home.”
And so much more…
So why do we accept anything less than a lifetime family for our foster youth?
A foster care alum in her 20’s served as a panelist at our first session. She is a passionate advocate and is making a great success of her life. Yet, she silenced the room when she shared that her college graduation was the saddest day of her life. Why? Because everyone else had family there, and she had caseworkers.
Thousands of youth in foster care face their 21st birthday alone – without the family they were promised when they entered care. This is unacceptable. We are formulating a new campaign called “Nobody Ages Out” to solve this.