Friday, May 21, 2010

The power of one

Last night I heard a single mom speak about the challenge of trying to go back to school while affording child care for her three kids, and a young woman talk about her difficulty in accessing quality mental health care after first attempting suicide at age 12.

They weren't stories about foster care, but they reminded me how powerful just one person's voice can be. How powerful it can be when we encourage the people most affected by an issue to share their voice. To share their story.

The National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections provided that opportunity recently when they launched their Digital Stories From the Field project.

It's a collection of stories about the child welfare system, told from the voices of those who know it best - foster youth, their families, social workers, judges, advocates and many others.

Check out Josh's video where he talks about journey of shuffling through foster homes and schools and how supportive adults made a difference. He's now working toward the goal of a master's degree in social work.

Or listen to Bernadette's story, a mom who vividly describes the day her children were placed in foster care and how her journey unfolded from that moment.

It's those kinds of stories, those powerful and personal truths, that we need to hear during National Foster Care Month and all year long.


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