Thursday, January 03, 2008

Tapping into the vision and passion of former foster children

It has been said that 'a picture is worth a thousand words.'

With that in mind, my husband and I created a video to illustrate what can be accomplished by empowering foster care alumni.

Please take the time to watch this video. If you are a MAC user, this link might work better for you, but might be a bit slow to initially load.

It is an opportunity to learn more about Foster Care Alumni of America, the Culture of Foster Care postcard project, and the recent Thanksgiving dinner at Capitol Hill.

As a former foster child, volunteering for Foster Care Alumni of America is my highest privilege. There are some things that money cannot buy -- and the honor of using your own personal experiences and those of other survivors to make a positive difference is one of them.

The experience is both healing and eye-opening. I used to think that the highest goal was to 'speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.' Now, I have learned that a better goal is to empower others to advocate, and to stand beside them in order to create a 'collective voice' which is more difficult to silence.

I created the video at the request of a conference facilitator who is considering me as a keynote presenter in 2008.

I am sharing it here, because it demonstrates what needs to happen throughout the United States, and across over the globe. We need to:

1. Dispel the stigma of foster care, and view survival behavior within its context, rather than pathologizing it.

2. Challenge survivors to view themselves not as victims, but as potential world-changers.

3. Listen to the voices of foster care youth and alumni and empower them to initiate change, since they are the 'consumers' of the foster care system.

4. Facilitate the development of foster care youth advisory boards and alumni peer support groups, recognizing that a permanent community can provide healing from a lifetime of broken connections.

5. Make child protection a priority. Thanks goes out to Megan Bayliss and all the authors and readers of Imaginif child protection became serious business.

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Comments:
Thank you so much!!!!

Reading your story helps me when dealing with the state and when advocating for the children I care for. I remind the SW that these are PEOPLE we are talking about..REAL PEOPLE.
 
Christina,

Thank you so much for being an advocate...

Please know that you are welcome to join FCAA as an ally member:
http://fostercarealumni.org/membdrive/jointoday.html

Our organization needs allies like you!
 
Lisa! Thanks so much for your hard work! I was a Foster Child, i am too wanting to help make Being in care a possitive xperiance for future children. I am in Australia. I would love to hear from you as i would love your input on some ideas i have. PLEASE email me at carissa@inspire.org.au

Thanks, you are a insperation! xo
 
YES!! This video is awesome!! How do I pass it around the net? This is AWESOME!!! i'm going to link to your blog! THANK YOU. THANK YOU. seriously THANK YOU!!!
 
the contact information is BARELY showing for me when I watch the very end of your video, i just wanted to tell you i could barely see it, could it be my settings?
 
Carissa,

I can't wait to hear your ideas, and support them!

Gershom,

You are the second person who mentioned that about my contact info on the last slide... I will have to look into that...

In the meantime, do you want me to snail mail you a copy of the DVD? If so, please email me the address you'd like me to send it to...

Lisa
 
Thank you so much LISA! I'm emailing you as soon as I hit send!!
 
Hi Lisa,
You do such important work for Foster Care. I give thanks for you often.
Megan, at Imaginif... tagged me for a Meme, well 2 actually, and I thought you and your readers might find them interesting, too. One is "7 Random Things About Me." The Other one is "Survivors Needs and Wants" from Marj at "Survivors..."
Both are at: http://childpersonfromthesouth.blogspot.com

A Child is Waiting.
Take care...be aware,
Nancy
 
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