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.

Mission: The mission of Foster Care Alumni of America is to connect the alumni community and to transform policy and practice, ensuring opportunity for people in and from foster care.

Facing Foster Care in Alaska
05/12/2020

Facing Foster Care in Alaska

May is National Foster Care Month #MINFCM 💙 We’re highlighting stories and inspiration from our foster youth and alumni members!

We’ll start with a poem from Zaniella Azrael McCormick

Events
I was three when I found out that the world was not all sunshine and rainbows

I was four the first time I was abandoned while at the same time learning I wasn’t enough

At seven I watch over and over as the towers fell, as people jumped, and as those lost souls walked from the rubble

At nine I was neglected and hurt, called worthless, told I was no one.
Yelled at that it was my responsibility to take care of the household

At eleven I finally told my secret, I spoke of a tragic life where nobody cared.

At thirteen I was so heavily drugged that I became a zombie

At fourteen I was taken away put into foster care, given a new start, grateful but terrified

At sixteen I was thrown away like I was nothing but garbage, my heart hardened, and I refused to let anyone in.

At eighteen I graduated high school, I attended Job Corps

At twenty I graduated Job Corps and stared college

At twenty one I exited care scared and alone, I had few connections, and didn’t know how to build more

At twenty three I was adopted, I felt I belonged, I felt loved

At twenty five my world turned upside down and I had to find a way to adjust and evolve

I am now twenty six I’ve moved across the country on my own, I have faced each of my demons and won! Well sorta panic the boa, anxiety the monkey and depression the donkey will always be by my side, but now I know when they stir up trouble, and how to stop them.

These are the events of my life, and I Gladly press onward to see what will happen next!!! #FFCA

May is #nationalfostercaremonth and today our #spotlight  is @thejuliascharles Julia Charles  As a former foster youth, ...
05/12/2020

May is #nationalfostercaremonth and today our #spotlight is @thejuliascharles Julia Charles As a former foster youth, spending ten years in more than a dozen different placements in the system, Julia Charles is no stranger to the lasting effects of life in the child welfare system. As a result, she devoted the earlier part of her adulthood supporting foster youth through her work as an #advocate, #volunteer, #speaker, and author. Her #book, Surviving the Storm: The Life of a Child Foster Care (2008), is an easy-to-read, personal journey of the author’s life in foster care. It includes an appendix of guided reading questions for social workers, care-providers, foster parents, and foster youth in order to help them consider broader questions about life in the foster care system. Julia received her Ph.D. (2015) and an MA (2012) from the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts. A proud two-time HBCU graduate, Julia received an MA in English and African American Literature from North Carolina A&T State University (2010), and a BA in English from Bennett College (2008). Currently, Julia is an assistant professor of English at Auburn University.
Her newest book, That Middle World: Race, Performance, and the Politics of Passing (2020), is a result of her academic research. Still passionate about improving the lives of youth in foster care, Julia and her fiancé, Dr. Nicole Linen (a psychologist), recently launched The #Loving #Luggage Project, a #charitable giving project created for foster youth to help ease the stress of their transitions in foster care. The Loving Luggage Project provides foster youth ages 3-18 with new carry-on luggage filled with items that are useful and that they will enjoy.

#fcaanational #FCAA

We want to share and invite you to be apart of our Board Chair @aprilmcurtis along with other passionate dedicated leade...
05/12/2020

We want to share and invite you to be apart of our Board Chair @aprilmcurtis along with other passionate dedicated leaders across the nation that have been invited to host #mylife

She will highlight to continued need of support for #foster #youth and alumni of the child welfare system not only during #covid19 but beyond this #pandemic. Our state chapters and allies have expressed concerns that Foster Youth and Foster Care Alumni are being left out. They have to find a category to fit in to get the support they need.

The FCAA Chapters along with allies and other state youth advisory boards urged their State Directors and Governor's to cease the "ageing out of youth in care" during this pandemic.

Please helps spread the word that Foster Care Youth Matter! Virtual Youth Fest- This Thursday! Amazing organizations and individuals - Sixto M. Escalera-Cancel Htet Htet Y. Rodgers Isaiah Palomo April Michelle Rivera-Curtis Chris Chmielewski Naya Taylor 1-2:30 p.m. Pacific, 2-3:30 p.m. Mountain, 3-4:30 p.m. Central, 4-5:30 p.m. Eastern. Register here: www.bit.ly/mylifeyouthfest @fcaa.il @aprilmcurtis YOUTH POWER! @youthmove @fosterclub @fosterfocused @thinkof_us @sixtocancel @kween_zae @htethtetrodgers @beautifullovenay @fostercarefilm @fosteryouthaction @thefosternation @childrensrights @childrensbureau @cwlaofficial @fcaa_ok @fcaanv @fcaamaryland @mentalhealthamerica @magellanhealthcare

#fostercareawarenessmonth
#FCAA #fcaanational
#advocate #fosteringsaveslives
#family
#familyfirst
#youth #youthempowerment
#alumnivoice
#livedexperience
#livedexpertise
#healthylifestyle
#fosteryouthincarematter
#resources
#inmyshoes

Thanks @gsmilestyle for having this conversation during the month of foster care!

#mentalhealthsupport #housing #medicalsupport #employmentopportunities
#lifelongrelationship #familysupport

05/12/2020
Foster Focus Magazine

During the month of Foster Care Month we want to invite you to read what our board chair enjoys reading. This magazine is founded by Chris Chmielewski an alumni and former board member!

He is always open to receiving new articles!

#supportsmallbusiness #supportalumniowned
#NFCM

This is the fan page for Foster Focus the nation's only monthly magazine for the foster care industry. Please "LIKE" this page and "SHARE" it with your friends. THANKS www.FosterFocusMag.com

May is #NFCM #nationalfostercaremonthToday we highlight - Dr. Alfred G. Pérez. He is an assistant professor in the newly...
05/11/2020

May is #NFCM #nationalfostercaremonth
Today we highlight - Dr. Alfred G. Pérez. He is an assistant professor in the newly accredited social work program at Seattle University where he teaches classes in social welfare policy, human development, and “adulting.”

Alfred’s professional experiences before academia span state government, direct child welfare practice, social welfare policy, and the federal government. Most notably, Alfred’s tenure with former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano’s administration included reform of the Child Protection Services system. He served as a policy analyst for the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care and at Westat he was on a team that developed the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD), which tracks federal independent living services and youth outcomes during emerging adulthood.

As a teen, while in foster care, Alfred joined the California Youth Connection (CYC), a youth-led organization that empowers youth to reform foster care through legislative, policy, and practice change. Because of the advocacy work with CYC, Alfred was invited by former President Bill Clinton to deliver remarks at the White House bill signing ceremony of the Foster Care Independence Act (FCIA).

Alfred’s personal and professional experiences fuel and sustains his passion for child welfare research in the areas of post-permanency wellbeing and independent living services receipt among transition-aged youth. His latest study, Factors Predicting Patterns of Service Use among John F. Chafee Independent Living Services Recipients, is featured in a double-issue of CWLA's journal Child Welfare, which commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Foster Care Independent Act.

Alfred received his B.A. in Social Work from the San José State University, M.S.W. (Policy and Political Social Work) from the University of Michigan, and Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of Chicago.

#FCAA Former Board Member #FCAAspotlight

@agp13.1

Timeline Photos
05/11/2020

Timeline Photos

Today Foster Care Alumni of America would like to send out a special Happy Mother's Day to the Mother's that are special...
05/10/2020

Today Foster Care Alumni of America would like to send out a special Happy Mother's Day to the Mother's that are special to YOU.

We recognize this day may be hard on some today, know that you are not alone. If you are a mom Happy Mother's Day!

"Although I grew up in foster care I had aunt's, grandmother's, foster mom's, foster aunts, mentors, GOD Mother's, Big Sis figures, and other women who stepped up during times I needed a mother figure and I was able to heal with my bio mom and she is a grandmother for my kids. This journey and healing is different for everyone, it takes time. This is my journey. As a mother I strive to take all what I learned the good and bad to be the mother I am today. I break the cycles I break the trauma cycles, Board Chair April M Curtis ."

Foster Care Alumni of America - Illinois Chapter
05/08/2020

Foster Care Alumni of America - Illinois Chapter

FCAA-IL continues to highlight alumni, advocates, and allies for #FosterCareAwarenessMonth. Meet Cary:

Cary M. Shelby is currently an associate professor of law at Washington and Lee University. She joined W&L from DePaul University College of Law, where she taught a variety of business law courses such as Business Organizations, Securities Regulation and a seminar on Investment Funds. Cary received the DePaul College of Law Excellence in Teaching Award in May 2016 and the DePaul University Excellence in Teaching Award in September 2018.

Her research generally encompasses regulatory issues related to hedge funds and other pooled investment vehicles, and it has been cited by Forbes, The Brookings Institution, and an array of other publications. Cary’s research has primarily investigated the extent to which the law should further regulate the increasing publicness of private funds. She has published articles in California Law Review (forthcoming), The Business Lawyer, Boston College Law Review, Washington and Lee Law Review (co-authored with Steven Ramirez and Kristin Johnson), SMU Law Review, The Delaware Journal of Corporate Law, and other journals and periodicals. She is also the founder and operator of the "Found Daughters Mosaic Blog" (https://www.professorcaryshelby.com/blog) which includes periodic postings related to self-discovery and healing, as well as postings connected to her research agenda.

Ms. Shelby received her B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her J.D. from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. She then practiced law in the Investment Funds, Advisers and Derivatives Group with Sidley Austin LLP for close to four years. As an associate in this group, she represented clients in regulatory and corporate matters involving hedge funds, commodity pools and derivatives trading. After leaving Sidley, Cary completed the William H. Hastie Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Law School, which is a competitive two-year LL.M. program designed to prepare its candidates for a career in law academia.

What an AMAZING journey! We see you, Cary! Keep shining! 🤩

Today we for National Foster Care Month #NFCM we  #spotlight Tyler Bacon, he is 35 is currently employed at Wayne State ...
05/08/2020

Today we for National Foster Care Month #NFCM we #spotlight Tyler Bacon, he is 35 is currently employed at Wayne State College as the Assistant Director of Residence Life-Hall Supervision. He is currently working on his #Masters #Degree in Student Affairs and College #Counseling. He received his bachelor degree in #Psychology with a minor in Sociology at Wayne State College.

While working to obtain his education he received a #scholarships from Foster Care to Success and Reaching Your Potential Scholarship for students with disabilities. These scholarship were essential to support his efforts in obtaining his college education.

Tyler has testified before the Ways and Means Committee about transitional support for foster youth. He has worked for several organizations in his advocacy world such as: FosterClub, Educate Tomorrow, Child Welfare League of America National Foster Youth and Alumni Council, and Jim Casey Foundation. Tyler was recognized for his #advocacy efforts by being awarded the 2012 Young Outstanding leader award. He also has had several articles written about his advocacy efforts.

Tyler is #passionate about #leadership #development and transitional support for youth in care. Transitional support for foster youth is so essential to allow them the best opportunity for success. Foster #youth deserve an opportunity to obtain a college education and gain the stability in their life they deserve. Tyler continues to be passionate about developing the leaders that will continue to impact our society to ensure we have a better #future for all the youth in the foster care system. #FCAAspotlight #FCAA

Foster Care Alumni of America-Michigan Chapter
05/08/2020

Foster Care Alumni of America-Michigan Chapter

“May is National Foster Care Month and in honor of #NFCM we are highlighting #fostercare #alumni and #allies -

Deborah Denzel spent fourteen years in the Connecticut #fostercare system and aged out after graduating with her B.A. in Psychology from Bennett College (one of the two all female Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Deborah was introduced to Bennett College through a Connecticut Department of Children and Families #HBCU College Tour. Prior to Bennett she did not share her story with others due to the stigma and shame associated with foster care. While at Bennett, she became a United Methodist Black College Fund Ambassador and felt empowered to have a voice and share her story with thousands across the country to help #raiseawareness of the financial need for those attending the 11 United Methodist HBCU’s. She then became involved in the foster care community both locally in North Carolina as well as nationally.

In 2013, upon graduating Bennett College, Deborah became a Research Assistant at the University of Massachusetts where she conducted studies on foster care. She was also involved in the Massachusetts foster care community through #volunteering and #publicspeaking.

In 2014, Deborah transitioned to Michigan for her M.S.W. at the University of Michigan. In addition, Deborah received a Child Welfare Certificate and conducted research on foster care at the University of Michigan Child & Adolescent Data Lab.

In 2016, Deborah became a MDHHS Foster Care Worker for Wayne County. She quickly realized she could not make the impact she was hoping for in this role. She then became a Foster Parent Recruiter and Trainer. She’s trained thousands of foster parents throughout the state of Michigan based on evidence based practices and personal experiences.

In 2018, in addition to recruiting and training foster parents, Deborah became the Program Manager at Girls Group in Washtenaw County. Currently, as the Senior Program Manager, Deborah oversees the 16 middle and high school programs that empowers (through mentoring) young women to achieve emotional and economic self-sufficiency by ensuring they graduate from high school and begin their college or career journeys. Deborah also mentors a former foster care alumni teenager through Washtenaw County Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Needless to say, Deborah has a strong passion for #advocating and removing the stigma associated with foster care through research, education, #civicinvolvement, public speaking, mentoring, and exposure to opportunities. In Deborah’s spare time, she is working towards her long-term goal of creating a non-profit that provides services in these areas. She believes these are the areas that changed her life and can do the same for the next foster kid.”

May is National Foster Care Month. #NFCM Today's Alumni spotlight is Prizila Vidal. As a local Foster Youth, LGBTQIA, an...
05/07/2020

May is National Foster Care Month. #NFCM Today's Alumni spotlight is Prizila Vidal.

As a local Foster Youth, LGBTQIA, and HIV/AIDS activist, Prizila Vidal continues to advocate for foster youth both working with youth during the coming out process, and during the transitional age of 18-24, linking young adults to housing, education and employment resources.

Her journey with HIV brought her to the Mother, Child and Adolescent Program (MCAP) at UC San Diego, where she continues to volunteer her time and story as a speaker for events and workshops. At the age of 24 she had aged out of the program and decided to continue #advocating for HIV/AIDS Positive individuals but more so for anyone interested in their health and getting some support. She knows that the primary source to one’s health is having support. She unfortunately did not have that support .

Before she was even diagnosed she did not know anything about HIV/AIDS, nor how risky it can be and easy it is to contract it, although she got the disease by being raped. Ensuring that others are educated and in effort to reduce the stimga she is using her story to teach. After knowing how easy it easy to contract it and share it she knew that she had to do something. She decided to bring up the so controversial topic to anyone and everyone that she could.

These days besides her regular job she is an #Educator on #HIV/AIDS as well as many other topics I educate on. Furthermore, she would like to encourage all of you out there that are newly or already diagnosed to find and connect to Support and get your health if not Good then Better!!

"You are not alone, being open and honest has helped me take better care of myself and advocate for others"

#FCAA #FCAAspotlight

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5810 Kingstowne Center Dr, Suite 120-730
Alexandria, VA
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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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