Foster Care

Foster Care Best Practices Children & Families

How Collaborations Can Help You Improve Outcomes

For the vast majority of teenagers turning into adults, turning 21 represents a time of wonder and excitement. This is a time of planning for the future that includes job training, college applications and attendance, and learning practical skills. However, for...

Foster Care Best Practices

Transitioning Out of Foster Care and Into Opportunity

How to best serve the needs of youth aging out of foster care? The law may believe they’re old enough for independent living, but in reality the barriers to doing so can feel insurmountable. It’s a challenging question for even the most seasoned child welfare...

Foster Care Child Welfare Children & Families

How a Plastic Garbage Bag Became the Unofficial Luggage of Foster Care

It was a scene that I would see play out time and time again during my 13-year career, serving some of our nation’s most vulnerable youth. A child comes into care needing foster care, and the youth and their caseworker shows up with a couple of black garbage bags...

Foster Care Child Welfare Children & Families

The Impact of One Trusted Adult in a Former Foster Youth’s Life

For most of us reading this article, we didn’t have life completely figured out when we turned 18 years of age. I turned 18 in the middle of boot camp with the United States Marine Corps. I declined to notify my Drill Instructors that it was my birthday, lest they...

Foster Care Child Welfare Children & Families

A COVID-19 Call to Action for Foster Parents

Nearly 20 years ago, I embarked on what would be a fascinating career serving some of our nation’s most troubled youth. A remarkable career considering that when I started, I didn’t know anything about kids. I was a Political Science major in need of a job...

Foster Care Child Welfare Children & Families

Adoption and the Never Ending Pursuit of a Forever Family

Without exception, perhaps the most tangible reward for a job well done in the child welfare service is seeing a young child find their forever family via adoption. Yes, it’s great to see children go back home to their birth families as well. To say that I enjoyed...

Foster Care Child Welfare Children & Families

All Foster Homes Are Not Created Equal in the Child Welfare System

To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the...

Foster Care Child Welfare Children & Families

Fire for Effect: Using Evidence in Foster Care

Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my...