• May 2015
  • Vol. 16, No. 4

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Personal Accounts of Life in Foster Care

As part of National Foster Care Month and in an effort to raise awareness of the varied experiences associated with foster care, Children's Rights' Fostering the Future campaign lends a voice to youth by sharing personal blogs that highlight their experiences in care. While each account is unique, a common theme exists: Positive outcomes and future success are attainable by youth in foster care despite adversity. Each blog also provides words of encouragement and advice to youth currently in foster care and includes recommendations for child welfare reform geared toward practitioners and policymakers.

In one story, Maisha explains that she was removed from home at 11 years old. Maisha had been living with her grandmother and mother, who gave birth to Maisha at age 15. Due to drug-related activities of another relative who was living with them, Maisha's grandmother, her primary caretaker, was detained and evicted from her home. Maisha's first foster home was not a positive experience, and she began to rebel and lash out. She was placed with a second foster family, who provided her with a more nurturing home life. However, her foster mother's son became involved in violent, gang-related situations, and Maisha was again removed.

All the while, Maisha's grandmother had been fighting to regain custody of her. Once grandmother and granddaughter were reunited, they moved away from their violent and unstable neighborhood to a safer area in her grandmother's home State. After an initial period of adjustment, Maisha flourished in this environment and, with the support and love of her grandmother, graduated on time from high school. Maisha encourages other children and youth in foster care to never lose hope and to remember that, no matter what, they have a purpose in life.

The blog series concludes with "Furthering Our Mission," a message from Marcia Robinson Lowery, director emeritus of Children's Rights, that reinforces the importance of really listening to and hearing youth voices and understanding the realities of foster care.

Children's Rights is a national advocacy organization dedicated to protecting maltreated children involved in the child welfare system. To read Children Unseen: Personal Accounts of Life in Foster Care: A Collection of Blogs From Children's Rights' 2014 Fostering the Future Campaign, visit the Children's Rights website at http://www.childrensrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/CR-Blog-brochure-9.22-spreads-LowRes1.pdf (911 KB).

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