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.

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.

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Hello Former and Current Foster Youth!

In the weeks following the FYI briefing with the White House DPC, Representatives Danny Davis (D-IL) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN), introduced HR 7947, The Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic Act. This bipartisan proposal includes key provisions that would provide significant relief to those in care and those that have recently aged out.

Specifically for current and former youth in foster care, the legislation would:
• Place a moratorium on aging out of care so young people could remain connected to services;
• Allow re-entry into foster care;
• Increase Chafee funds by $400 million to meet the immediate needs of young people;
• Expand Chafee eligibility through age 26;
• Remove the 30% Chafee housing cap; and
• Increase Education & Training Vouchers from $5,000 to $12,000 per person per year.

We are asking you, current and former foster youth, to sign onto a letter formally asking First Lady Trump to advocate for the bill to members of the House and Senate so that it can be included in the next round of COVID-19 relief or the next thing that moves. Due to the time sensitive nature of the request and Congressional actions, the deadline to sign onto the letter is Friday September 18th at 5pm EST.

Read and sign onto the letter here:

More on the Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act:


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Excited to share that The Foster Scholars are featured in a NASPA Socioeconomic and Class Issues in Higher Education KC ...

Excited to share that The Foster Scholars are featured in a NASPA Socioeconomic and Class Issues in Higher Education KC blog.

Check it out at

Learn more about our journey in developing this community, and sign up to join us for a LIVE conversation with the leaders of Foster Scholars! Facilitated by Maddy Day 💙💙

June 30th @10am PST
Register here:

#FCAANational #fosterscholars

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Join the discussion. #blacklivesmatter #fostercare*PLEASE SHARE WITH YOUR NETWORKS**Join Dr. Lopez and guest, Dr. Ricks,...

Join the discussion. #blacklivesmatter #fostercare


Join Dr. Lopez and guest, Dr. Ricks, as they facilitate a sacred space for healing for Black individuals with lived experience from foster care.

This is an event for black individuals with experience in foster care.

Register here:

Child Welfare League of America (CWLA)

Child Welfare League of America (CWLA)

Over the last few days, as we watch events unfold in this country after the murder of an African American man and resulting protests and further violence, we have felt anger, hurt, fear, despair, and a distant hope that maybe this could somehow result in a turning point. We are sure that this inner turmoil has been the same for many of you.

As people who work with children, youth, and families who are vulnerable, we are often firsthand witnesses to the consequences of inequity and injustice. We know that the families that we serve are disproportionately African American, Latino, and Native American. Those of us who are working in or advocating for families and children who may come into contact with the child welfare system can see directly the impact that all forms of violence have on children and families.

Our children are seeing images of a man murdered on television by officials who are supposed to protect and safeguard our well-being. All of this is happening during a global pandemic in which our employees, children, and families have been challenged like never before, and children and youth were just venturing out into their changed world.

We know that there are no easy solutions to these problems. We have significant work to do to ensure that our children and families have access to quality services and supports in their communities. There will have to be a long-term response to this assault on families and on children. We must commit to reexamining our policies and practices to ensure that they are equitable and just for all of the families and children who need services. In the short term, we need to:

• Look deep into our own hearts and at our attitudes on issues of color and race.

• Speak out and fight for justice and a better life for children and their families.

• Call for better housing, child care, mental health services, health care, and an economy that gives everyone an opportunity.

• Think deeply and recommit to rooting out any vestiges of racism in your own work and the work done by your organization, and address it as a component of continuous improvement and excellence.

• Find ways to listen to each other and to the children and families you work with to better understand their fears, hopes, and what you can do to help them.

At CWLA, we know that we have a lot of listening and learning to do. We need your help in understanding your needs and the needs expressed by the children, families, and communities you serve. We are not going to assume that incremental change will be enough to prepare for “the new normal” but our commitment will be to organize our change around what we hear from you and our core values.

The anger that we are seeing is not just about the murder of one person. It is the outcome of the continued accumulation of injustices leveled against the African American community. We can hope and pray that this will be a transformative moment that inspires leadership at all levels of our government and society that seeks to bring us together. We need leadership that speaks without hatred, but with purpose and love for our country and all who live here—purpose that brings us together in dialogue, education, and honest conversation on how we can achieve true equality under the law and in the lives of all people.

#FCAANational#spotlight##fostercareawarenessmonthChristopher M. PattersonIn May 2019, Secretary Ben Carson appointed Chr...



Christopher M. Patterson

In May 2019, Secretary Ben Carson appointed Christopher M. Patterson to serve as Regional Administrator of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Region IX, which encompasses communities across the States of California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and the U.S. Territories in the Outer Pacific Region.

As the Secretary’s representative leading HUD’s management team in the region and across field offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Reno, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Honolulu and with over 540 employees, Mr. Patterson is the highest-ranking HUD official in Region IX.

Prior to his appointment and for the past 14 years, Mr. Patterson was Founder and President of Breakthrough, Inc., a specialized residential treatment services agency with over 100 staff serving children, youth and young adults in families or the foster care system with developmental and behavioral challenges in the State of Washington. Prior to that he had worked in the field of Social Services in a variety of roles/capacities for 25 years.

Originally from Spokane, Washington, Mr. Patterson spent much of his childhood in the foster care system, an experience he endured with his younger brother and which has fueled his passion for scaling compassionate, outcome-oriented solutions for vulnerable populations ever since.

In July, the Secretary appointed him as HUD’s National Lead to the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative, which will target new housing and case management resources to vulnerable young adults who have aged-out of the #foster care system.

An avid outdoorsman with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Eastern Washington University, Mr. Patterson lives with his wife Dalene and family in Colbert, Washington when he is not working on behalf of the Department in Region IX.

Foster Care Alumni of America, Pennsylvania Chapter

Foster Care Alumni of America, Pennsylvania Chapter

May is National Foster Care Month and in honor of #NFCM2020 we are highlighting #fostercare #alumni and #allies!
Nicole A. Childers is an Emmy Award-winning broadcast news executive, social media consultant, and brand strategist based in Los Angeles. She is one of a select few journalists who has won nearly every major broadcast journalism award, including an Emmy, Peabody, and Columbia DuPont for a Kids’ Special for 9/11 coverage; a Business Emmy Award for a Report on Pension Plans; and the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast/World News Tonight. Most recently, she won the UCLA Anderson School of Management Gerald Loeb Award in Audio for a special series on automation called Robot-Proof Jobs.

An alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadephia, PA, she began her career in journalism as an intern for Diane Sawyer at ABC News. Childers officially joined the network in 1999 where she went on to serve as an Associate Producer for World News Tonight with the late Peter Jennings.

Currently, she is an Executive Producer at American Public Media for Marketplace Morning Report, overseeing the production of daily shows that reach an audience of more than 10 million on more than 800 public radio stations nationwide. Within her first nine months at Marketplace, Childers increased listenership of Marketplace Morning Report by more than 50%.

In 2017, she conceived and launched an international business show that has become a daily co-production between Marketplace and the BBC World Service. She also served on the company’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board. Before joining APM, she was the Senior Producer for the launch of Fusion: the ABC News/Univision cable TV network venture.

Childers edited the book “What Would Michelle (Obama) Do,” (April 2012) as part of Gotham/Penguin’s successful “What Would …” series, as well as “Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go,” the memoir of Shaquille O'Neal’s mother, Lucille O’Neal, which was published by Thomas Nelson Publishers in 2010.

In addition to her broadcasting and New Media experience, Childers has devoted her time, resources and voice to issues surrounding diversity in media. Always committed to education and mentoring, Childers has spoken to USC journalism students about social media management, diversity and ethics. She also served on the board of LA Youth, an organization whose paper (with a national readership of 350k) was written for and by high school students and served as a leading advocacy voice for teens through journalism, literacy and civic engagement.

Childers spent part of her childhood in foster care in San Diego, CA, and as a result, she has had the opportunity through speaking engagements to shed light on the plights of the millions of children who reside within the system. She also sat on the board of Uplift, an LA-based organization that provides services to young men in the foster care system.

#fostercareawareness #fostercaremonth

#FCAANational#spotlight#nationalfostercaremonth@nicnic_nicnak Nicole Dobbins is a Child Welfare Partnership Advisor with...


@nicnic_nicnak Nicole Dobbins is a Child Welfare Partnership Advisor with Casey Family Programs, a national operating foundation that is committed to building communities of hope in collaboration with public, private, tribal, and community partners, to improve the safety and success of children and their families.

Nicole was previously the Executive Director for Voice for Adoption, a national advocacy organization focused on educating policy makers about the needs of children and families fostering and adopting through public child welfare.

In her early years of advocacy, she helped co-found the Oregon Foster Youth Advisory Board, which later was expanded and continues to actively operate today, as the Oregon Foster Youth Connection.

Nicole has been a twice-invited witness to testify to members of the U.S. Ways and Means Committee on Human Resources about the needs of older youth in foster care, transition and permanency planning and the support needs of families.

Nicole serves as a long-time board member and former board President of FosterClub, the national network for youth in foster care. In 2015 Nicole was honored by President Obama as a “Champion of Change”.

Nicole has experienced family separation, foster care entry, reunification, foster care re-entry and aging-out. She believes strongly in the power of partnering with youth and families with lived experience to shift negative narratives and influence needed changes within child welfare.

#FCAANational #spotlight Angelique Salizan is pursuing her master's degree at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Geo...


Angelique Salizan is pursuing her master's degree at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. A native of Brentwood, New York, Angelique was able to pursue a degree in liberal arts and sciences at Sullivan County Community College. She also obtained a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Binghamton University. She began her advocacy efforts in New York which informed much of her advocacy and policy work pursuing reforms in the foster care system.

After completing her undergraduate studies, Angelique went on to participate in the #Foster #Youth Internship Program with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. As a part of that program she interned for Senator Ron Wyden and worked on child welfare issues, including drafting and publishing a policy report addressing educational inequities. Angelique went on to work under Senator Debbie Stabenow as a staff assistant, and most recently, as a #Legislative Correspondent for Senator Sherrod Brown, working on policy issues related to #education, #civil #rights, firearms, transportation, infrastructure, and social services. Angelique also worked as a part-time consultant for the Capacity Building Center for States, an initiative of the U.S. Children’s Bureau which aims to help build the capacity of child welfare agencies. During her master's program she worked for the City of Cleveland Department of Public Utilities, focusing on water equity, and infrastructure issues. Angelique recently accepted a position with the Alliance for the Great Lakes where she will continue to work on water affordability #policy and build on state and muncipal relationships as the Ohio Policy and Outreach Manager.

#spotlightDr. Kizzy Lopez is married to Carlos Lopez, her best-friend for 21 years and together they have two beautiful ...

Dr. Kizzy Lopez is married to Carlos Lopez, her best-friend for 21 years and together they have two beautiful children Tyrell and Amaya Lopez. Her family is her greatest joy!

Dr. Lopez is an Assistant Professor in Social Work at Fresno Pacific University. She has worked in higher education for 13 years in academic and student affairs as a champion for educational equity for underserved students, particularly those who have experienced foster care or homelessness.
Dr. Lopez is passionate about advocating for foster and homeless youth because of her personal experience. She is a former foster youth and was homeless while attending community college. She knows first-hand the barriers these youth experience and has committed her career to improving systems for disadvantaged youth.
Dr. Lopez led the effort to create a campus-based program for foster and homeless youth at Fresno State known as the Renaissance Scholars Program (RSP). This program was designed to increase college access and graduation rates for foster and homeless youth attending the university. Dr. Lopez was the founding coordinator. During that time, she served over 200 students, developed innovative services and practices. She also represented the CSU system providing testimony and advocating for statewide policy change for foster youth and homeless youth.

As a scholar, Dr. Lopez is a speaker on educational equity, foster care, and race. She is a TEDx speaker on the topic, The Trauma of Being Black in Foster Care. She was also featured in a Kleenex video highlighting the experiences of foster and homeless youth moving into the college dorms. Dr. Lopez has co-authored publications focused on strategies to support college-going foster youth, including Transitional-Age Foster Youth: Getting Them Into and Through College and forthcoming Fostering Success: Supporting College-Going Foster Youth on Campus. She has been previously recognized for her contributions and received Fresno Black Magical Woman, Heroes Unmasked Award, Rosa Parks Award.

Dr. Lopez earned a doctorate in higher education leadership from Azusa Pacific University, master’s degree in Educational Counselor.


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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