Sunday, July 21, 2019

Meet the latest addition to the Dickson household

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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Staycation Movies

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Great news!!!

All 46 central Ohio Donatos Pizza restaurants have now been trained about Huckleberry House programs, Safe Place and about Safe Place site procedures. These 46 Donatos restaurants now provide a way to safety for runaway or homeless youth in their community.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Fathers, or the lack thereof

I still remember the girl I once was before, during and after foster care. And how much I craved a father figure at that time.

At the time, I looked to TV/movie entities, including Bill Cosby (there was no shadow on his legacy back then), as well as Steve Martin, Robin Williams, and others.

Today, if you ever need a laugh, or just some encouragement that all is not wrong with the world, and that some men truly do care with all their heart about being great fathers...

Check out “New Father Chronicles” by La Guardia Cross on YouTube:

Excellent quote that gets right to the heart of the matter

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Youth Voices Matter

This year, I am celebrating Independence Day by focusing on how to continue to advocate and help create more resources to support young people entering into young adulthood.

While also feeling deeply saddened by what's going on in our country regarding the detainment and treatment of immigrant children and teens.

Come on, America, we can do BETTER than this:

The Very Impatient Advocate

The Very Impatient Caterpillar by Ross Burch is my favorite Picture Book of 2019, because it captures the advocacy struggle so well.

As foster care youth, alumni and ally advocates, we have a shared sense of URGENCY. The work we are doing matters so much, and the initiatives we are trying to launch and policies we are trying to change feel long overdue.

And yet, we are often faced with delays and/or needing to take additional time to figure out more details...

Because we want the things we are trying to achieve to have strong wings to fly, and to soar upwards towards success and long-term sustainability.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Grateful for 19 years of marriage

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I am deeply grateful for 19 years of marriage to Nathan Dickson. He is my songbird and my oasis. He challenges, exasperates and inspires me on a daily basis. I love his brilliant brain, hilarious wit, and creative talents.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Celebrating the journey: May - June 2019

A wise sister of mine, Angie Cross, taught me that we need to take time to celebrate milestones during the course of our ongoing advocacy work. So far, May and June have been incredibly busy months...

 1.) We met with the new Director of Child Welfare Transformation to talk about the need for a statewide foster care ombudsman, and to include youth voice in what that office should look like...

 2.) We are continuing to share the need for a statewide medical ombudsman (to address overmedication in foster care), and following up on youth reports of abuse in a specific residential facility.

 3.) We are continuing to work on national efforts to improve housing outcomes after foster care, including the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act, The Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act of 2019, and The Fostering Success in Higher Education Act

 4.) We had the privilege of being a part of the 2019 Ohio Family Care Association Conference, and are deeply grateful to Dot Erickson Anderson, Denise St Clair and others for caring about youth voice and for helping identify host homes for young adults in the Bridges program.

 5.) We are deeply grateful for the ongoing commitment of CMHA to bring Scholar House 3 from vision to reality. (groundbreaking is set for August 2020, with 30 residents -- hooray!!)

I wanted to take a moment to send some love and appreciation to our foster care youth, alumni and allies for their diligence and dedication.

We can - we are - we will make things better.

Thank you for being a part of this ongoing journey.

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