In September I traveled with my 23-year-old son to speak at “Families for Life: Addressing the Needs of Older Children and Youth in Foster Care,” a conference convened by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. James and I were doing a workshop together about the strength of family bonds. Even though James and I were separated by my drug addiction and his adoption, our relationship is growing now.
I hoped that seeing the way my … Read More
This story is reprinted from Represent, a magazine by and for youth in foster care.
For nine years I was always in and out of the system because my mother was heavily addicted to drugs. She would follow the orders of the court to get my brothers and me back, but because she had so little support, she would relapse and lose us.
I wanted to go home and stay home. I loved my mother so much. … Read More
About 10 years ago, I was going through a bad time in my marriage and it came to the point that I just couldn’t take it anymore. One night when my husband abused me I called the police and they took my children and me to the hospital for an exami- nation.
Because of everything going on with my husband, I’d been drinking, and when the Department of Social Services did a quick assessment, they decided … Read More
When I applied to become a parent advocate at a foster agency in New York City, I feared I wasn’t ready. I was on public assistance and had never held a 9-to-5 job. But I knew that parents dealing with the foster care system needed support and tough love from people like me—parents who were once in their shoes.
My own two girls had gone into foster care because I was drinking. For about three years … Read More
On March 25, 2004, after my daughter had been in care for three years, the judge released her to her father and me on a trial discharge. That meant that we’d be supervised by a preventive services agency for a year. I found an agency right down the block from me and met my new preventive worker. His name was Rene and he was Mexican, like me. As I got to know him and found … Read More