Foster Care Alumni of America, National

Foster Care Alumni of America, National Foster Care Alumni of America is a national non-profit association that has been founded and is led by alumni of the foster care system. We use the term alumni to describe those of us who have been in foster care during our childhood/youth.
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The dual nature of our mission is represented in our tagline: Connecting today...Transforming tomorrow. Our vision is to ensure a high quality of life for those in and from foster care through the collective voice of alumni. We intend to erase the differences in opportunities and outcomes that exist for people in and from foster care compared to those who have not experienced foster care. We believe that opportunities to improve outcomes for alumni of foster care continue beyond age 18 (typical emancipation age) or even age 25 (typically considered the upper end of transition age) and that a significant way to improve the quality of life for alumni is to provide opportunities for us to connect with each other, reducing isolation and increasing the likelihood of permanent family and community. We also believe that alumni of foster care possess an expertise about foster care that is not available anywhere else. Alumni bring the perspective of having lived in foster care and being part of the foster care culture—the shared experience that comes from being in foster care. We believe this perspective and expertise, and our presence and voice, are essential for influencing public will, creating the best public policy, and continually improving foster care practice. This vision for Foster Care Alumni of America was developed by alumni of foster care—adults who once were in foster care. Alumni leaders from around the country first proposed creating an independent 501(c)(3) alumni-led organization in November 2002 and the idea has grown into what is now our organization.

Operating as usual

FCAA honors Charity Chandler-Cole is the CEO of CASA/LA, Court Appointed Special Advocates for youth in Foster Care. Bor...
05/10/2021

FCAA honors Charity Chandler-Cole is the CEO of CASA/LA, Court Appointed Special Advocates for youth in Foster Care.
Born and raised in Los Angeles and having harshly endured its child welfare and juvenile justice systems, she has spent over a decade helping to influence and impact social structures, policies and systems that have negatively and disproportionately impacted and oppressed foster youth and vulnerable communities.

In her current role as the first Black CEO and first former foster youth to lead CASA/LA she plans to build upon the organization’s programmatic initiatives and commitment to addressing racial injustices in foster care.

Charity also sits on several highly impactful committee boards, including her position as Chairwoman of the Board for the Anti-Recidivism Coalition and Commissioner L.A.County Children & Families, where she is co-chair of its Racial Justice Committee.
#FCAA

#NFCM2021
#fostercareawareness
#fostercareawarenessmonth

FCAA honors Charity Chandler-Cole is the CEO of CASA/LA, Court Appointed Special Advocates for youth in Foster Care.
Born and raised in Los Angeles and having harshly endured its child welfare and juvenile justice systems, she has spent over a decade helping to influence and impact social structures, policies and systems that have negatively and disproportionately impacted and oppressed foster youth and vulnerable communities.

In her current role as the first Black CEO and first former foster youth to lead CASA/LA she plans to build upon the organization’s programmatic initiatives and commitment to addressing racial injustices in foster care.

Charity also sits on several highly impactful committee boards, including her position as Chairwoman of the Board for the Anti-Recidivism Coalition and Commissioner L.A.County Children & Families, where she is co-chair of its Racial Justice Committee.
#FCAA

#NFCM2021
#fostercareawareness
#fostercareawarenessmonth

FCAA honors Hollee A. McGinnis, MSW, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of ...
05/09/2021

FCAA honors Hollee A. McGinnis, MSW, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Social Work. She is a prominent scholar, policy expert, and community organizer on adoption and child welfare. Her research examines social and cultural determinants of children’s mental health, with a focus on improving outcomes for youth and adults with histories of childhood trauma and involvement in systems of child welfare locally and globally. Her current study will explore adult outcomes of adoptees and foster care alumni. Prior to obtaining her doctorate in social work at Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. McGinnis was the policy director at the Donaldson Adoption Institute, a national organization focused on adoption policy and practice in the U.S., where she headed a national study on adoption and racial identity among adopted adults. She received her Master of Science from Columbia University School of Social Work (New York City) and completed a post-master’s clinical social work fellowship at the Yale University Child Study Center. In 1996, she founded Also-Known-As, Inc., a non-profit adult intercountry adoptee organization providing post-adoption services to international adoptees and adoptive families. Dr. McGinnis speaks regularly at national conferences and organizations, and has numerous published scholarly articles, book chapters, and essays. In 2008 she was recognized by the U.S. government with a Congressional Angel in Adoption award for her work in adoption. She is regularly sought out by the news media including interviewed about her research on South Korea’s child welfare system and overseas Korean adoptees by the New York Times Magazine, BBC News, and NPR.

#fostercareawareness
#NFCM2021
#adoptee

FCAA honors Hollee A. McGinnis, MSW, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Social Work. She is a prominent scholar, policy expert, and community organizer on adoption and child welfare. Her research examines social and cultural determinants of children’s mental health, with a focus on improving outcomes for youth and adults with histories of childhood trauma and involvement in systems of child welfare locally and globally. Her current study will explore adult outcomes of adoptees and foster care alumni. Prior to obtaining her doctorate in social work at Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. McGinnis was the policy director at the Donaldson Adoption Institute, a national organization focused on adoption policy and practice in the U.S., where she headed a national study on adoption and racial identity among adopted adults. She received her Master of Science from Columbia University School of Social Work (New York City) and completed a post-master’s clinical social work fellowship at the Yale University Child Study Center. In 1996, she founded Also-Known-As, Inc., a non-profit adult intercountry adoptee organization providing post-adoption services to international adoptees and adoptive families. Dr. McGinnis speaks regularly at national conferences and organizations, and has numerous published scholarly articles, book chapters, and essays. In 2008 she was recognized by the U.S. government with a Congressional Angel in Adoption award for her work in adoption. She is regularly sought out by the news media including interviewed about her research on South Korea’s child welfare system and overseas Korean adoptees by the New York Times Magazine, BBC News, and NPR.

#fostercareawareness
#NFCM2021
#adoptee

FCAA honors  Mario McLean he was born and raised in Detroit, MI. He is a survivor of the foster care system, in which he...
05/07/2021

FCAA honors Mario McLean he was born and raised in Detroit, MI. He is a survivor of the foster care system, in which he spent 5 of his childhood years. He is the youngest of his 5 siblings. Mario attended Detroit Public Schools and graduated from Cass Technical High School in 2011. Since his involvement in Business Professionals of America (BPA) during high school, he grew a strong love for business.

To continue to grow and develop his business acumen, Mario went on to Michigan State University and graduated in 2015 with his bachelor’s degree in Communication and minor in Sales. During his tenure on campus, it was extremely important for Mario to establish himself early by building valuable relationships and developing his leadership skills. This was evident in him being on the Executive-Board in the MSU Marketing Association during his freshmen year. To brush up on his selling skills, Mario became a member of the Global Sales Leadership Society, a student org which at the time had a promising 100% job success rate. He participated in annual All-MSU Sales Competitions, in which he placed amongst the top 10 students. In both of those organizations, Mario was the only African American student, so he wanted to ensure that he held himself to the highest standards.

To end his stellar MSU career, Mario had the pleasure of being selected the Class of 2015 Student Commencement Speaker at the Convocation Ceremony! After initially auditioning for this position and being rejected, it was his perseverance that caused him to finally achieve this goal. As the Student Commencement Speaker, Mario was able to use his voice to inspire his peers to “DREAM BIG! And to set the bar high for their future endeavors”.

Mario was recognized for his efforts of being able to overcome adversity while still managing to be successful both on and off campus by being awarded with his own Endowed Scholarship Fund at MSU. He definitely bleeds green and white and is a Spartan for life!

Upon graduation from MSU, Mario went to work for Frito-Lay as a District Sales Manager, where he worked for almost 5 years. While working full-time, Mario went on to pursue his MBA degree from Northwood University, and transitioned careers and is now a District Manager at ALDI.

Outside of the classroom, Mario has been very active in the Detroit Community and has held a number of mentor and leadership roles, such as being a Big Brother in the Big Brother Big Sister program and a National Foster Youth Institute (NFYI) Leadership Corps Member.

His roller-coaster ride of experiences over the years led him to become a published author of his first book, titled Every Day Is An Interview. “Every Day Is An Interview” is a quote in which he embodies daily to ensure that he is prepared for all of life’s challenges and adversity. Through the use of his personal experiences, Mario informs the readers that “No matter your past, nor the daily struggles that life brings, it is important to stay motivated and not lose sight of your goals. Success is on the other side of failure.”

Outside of work and school, Mario enjoys spending his time with his high school sweetheart, who is now his wife, Amber McLean, and also with his 2 year old son, Isaiah McLean and his newborn daughter Malia McLean.

https://www.amazon.com/Every-Day-Interview-Mario-Mclean/dp/1483470164/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=everyday+is+an+interview&qid=1620305457&sprefix=every+day+is+an+in&sr=8-3

https://anchor.fm/mario-mclean

#livedexpertise
#FCAA
#fostercareawareness
#NFCM2021

FCAA honors Mario McLean he was born and raised in Detroit, MI. He is a survivor of the foster care system, in which he spent 5 of his childhood years. He is the youngest of his 5 siblings. Mario attended Detroit Public Schools and graduated from Cass Technical High School in 2011. Since his involvement in Business Professionals of America (BPA) during high school, he grew a strong love for business.

To continue to grow and develop his business acumen, Mario went on to Michigan State University and graduated in 2015 with his bachelor’s degree in Communication and minor in Sales. During his tenure on campus, it was extremely important for Mario to establish himself early by building valuable relationships and developing his leadership skills. This was evident in him being on the Executive-Board in the MSU Marketing Association during his freshmen year. To brush up on his selling skills, Mario became a member of the Global Sales Leadership Society, a student org which at the time had a promising 100% job success rate. He participated in annual All-MSU Sales Competitions, in which he placed amongst the top 10 students. In both of those organizations, Mario was the only African American student, so he wanted to ensure that he held himself to the highest standards.

To end his stellar MSU career, Mario had the pleasure of being selected the Class of 2015 Student Commencement Speaker at the Convocation Ceremony! After initially auditioning for this position and being rejected, it was his perseverance that caused him to finally achieve this goal. As the Student Commencement Speaker, Mario was able to use his voice to inspire his peers to “DREAM BIG! And to set the bar high for their future endeavors”.

Mario was recognized for his efforts of being able to overcome adversity while still managing to be successful both on and off campus by being awarded with his own Endowed Scholarship Fund at MSU. He definitely bleeds green and white and is a Spartan for life!

Upon graduation from MSU, Mario went to work for Frito-Lay as a District Sales Manager, where he worked for almost 5 years. While working full-time, Mario went on to pursue his MBA degree from Northwood University, and transitioned careers and is now a District Manager at ALDI.

Outside of the classroom, Mario has been very active in the Detroit Community and has held a number of mentor and leadership roles, such as being a Big Brother in the Big Brother Big Sister program and a National Foster Youth Institute (NFYI) Leadership Corps Member.

His roller-coaster ride of experiences over the years led him to become a published author of his first book, titled Every Day Is An Interview. “Every Day Is An Interview” is a quote in which he embodies daily to ensure that he is prepared for all of life’s challenges and adversity. Through the use of his personal experiences, Mario informs the readers that “No matter your past, nor the daily struggles that life brings, it is important to stay motivated and not lose sight of your goals. Success is on the other side of failure.”

Outside of work and school, Mario enjoys spending his time with his high school sweetheart, who is now his wife, Amber McLean, and also with his 2 year old son, Isaiah McLean and his newborn daughter Malia McLean.

https://www.amazon.com/Every-Day-Interview-Mario-Mclean/dp/1483470164/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=everyday+is+an+interview&qid=1620305457&sprefix=every+day+is+an+in&sr=8-3

https://anchor.fm/mario-mclean

#livedexpertise
#FCAA
#fostercareawareness
#NFCM2021

Join this great panel!Join them for an amazing discussion tomorrow on Blind Removals! This is a pretty controversial top...
05/07/2021

Join this great panel!Join them for an amazing discussion tomorrow on Blind Removals! This is a pretty controversial topic and many in our community are unaware of what this means and how it effects them. Let's talk about it! Please register today! Open to ALL.

"When determining what the system can do to mitigate the impact of biases on decision-making, child welfare leaders frequently have turned to implicit bias training. Some research has found, however, that implicit bias training alone may not always be successful in correcting implicit bias.3,4,5 Alternatively, there is preliminary evidence that “blinding,” or removing information that would activate implicit bias, along with continued training and coaching for staff, may be a technical strategy that can have an impact on racial inequities and disproportionality at a specific point along the child welfare continuum"
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ygoAn0PhSAGi72D4BbhXKg

Join this great panel!Join them for an amazing discussion tomorrow on Blind Removals! This is a pretty controversial topic and many in our community are unaware of what this means and how it effects them. Let's talk about it! Please register today! Open to ALL.

"When determining what the system can do to mitigate the impact of biases on decision-making, child welfare leaders frequently have turned to implicit bias training. Some research has found, however, that implicit bias training alone may not always be successful in correcting implicit bias.3,4,5 Alternatively, there is preliminary evidence that “blinding,” or removing information that would activate implicit bias, along with continued training and coaching for staff, may be a technical strategy that can have an impact on racial inequities and disproportionality at a specific point along the child welfare continuum"
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ygoAn0PhSAGi72D4BbhXKg

FCAA honors our FCAA Arizona Leader Ryan Young is an international adoptee, former foster youth, proud LGBTQ+ member, an...
05/06/2021

FCAA honors our FCAA Arizona Leader Ryan Young is an international adoptee, former foster youth, proud LGBTQ+ member, and national child welfare consultant who resides in Phoenix, Arizona. Mr. Young serves as the Acting President to Arizona’s Department of Child Safety Youth Empowerment Council where he meets with DCS Leadership and young people all across Arizona to transform the child welfare system through policy changes, meaningful conversations led by youth, and invitations to various events to share stories about experiences and efforts towards intentional systemic transformation with our young people. He also serves as a Federal NYTD Reviewer with the U.S. Children’s Bureau, Chair of Arizona’s Chapter at Foster Care Alumni of America, an Arizona Delegate for National Foster Youth Institute, a Youth Commissioner with the City of Phoenix Youth and Education Commission and previously served as a National Young Leader with the Administration for Children & Families under Assistant Secretary Lynn A Johnson. On June 17, 2019, Ryan aged out of Arizona’s child welfare system at age 18 without a loving, and permanent family. Ryan strongly feels that every child and young adult deserves to be with a biological or chosen family, and if that isn’t possible; other permanency supports and connections should be in place chosen by the young adult. Mr. Young is currently working as a Peer Mentor with Arizona’s Children Association and studying Political Science at Phoenix College. When he is not working and/or advocating for systems transformation, he likes to spend time with family and friends, watch his favorite shows/movies, and loves to go gem hunting.

#fcaa
#fostercareawarenessmonth
#fostercare

FCAA honors our FCAA Arizona Leader Ryan Young is an international adoptee, former foster youth, proud LGBTQ+ member, and national child welfare consultant who resides in Phoenix, Arizona. Mr. Young serves as the Acting President to Arizona’s Department of Child Safety Youth Empowerment Council where he meets with DCS Leadership and young people all across Arizona to transform the child welfare system through policy changes, meaningful conversations led by youth, and invitations to various events to share stories about experiences and efforts towards intentional systemic transformation with our young people. He also serves as a Federal NYTD Reviewer with the U.S. Children’s Bureau, Chair of Arizona’s Chapter at Foster Care Alumni of America, an Arizona Delegate for National Foster Youth Institute, a Youth Commissioner with the City of Phoenix Youth and Education Commission and previously served as a National Young Leader with the Administration for Children & Families under Assistant Secretary Lynn A Johnson. On June 17, 2019, Ryan aged out of Arizona’s child welfare system at age 18 without a loving, and permanent family. Ryan strongly feels that every child and young adult deserves to be with a biological or chosen family, and if that isn’t possible; other permanency supports and connections should be in place chosen by the young adult. Mr. Young is currently working as a Peer Mentor with Arizona’s Children Association and studying Political Science at Phoenix College. When he is not working and/or advocating for systems transformation, he likes to spend time with family and friends, watch his favorite shows/movies, and loves to go gem hunting.

#fcaa
#fostercareawarenessmonth
#fostercare

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Chapters of FCAA We are proud of our Chapters and we look forward to establishing additional chapters into the future. Our goal is to eventually have a Chapter in every state! For more information regarding the activities occurring within our existing Chapters, visit their sites through the Chapter tab above. You can email our chapters by clicking the chapter you'd like to contact below--or contact us to leave a message. Arizona Chapter: Established in April, 2007 California Chapter: Established in April, 2010 Colorado Chapter: Established in March, 2009 Florida Chapter: Established in March, 2007 Idaho Chapter: Established in December, 2008 Maryland Chapter: Established in June, 2008 Massachusetts: Established in November, 2009 Ohio Chapter: Established in March, 2007 Tennessee Chapter: Established in June, 2008 Texas Chapter: Established in January, 2008 Virginia Chapter: Established in June, 2008

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