Preventive Services Saved My Family

I was pregnant when I aged out of foster care. My boyfriend and I wanted to have the baby, but I worried I'd always be a target for Child Protective Services (CPS) because I grew up in foster care and was mentally ill. But CPS and the mental health system ended up providing a great support system.

Who Will I Be As an Adult?

In all those years I was bounced around, I didn’t know where I belonged or what would happen when I aged out of care. I never had a mature role model, so I’m not sure what sort of adult I want to be.

What Do We Owe Each Other?

A teenage girl on the road to high school graduation struggles to stay connected to her birth parents while coping with their inconsistent and often abusive behavior.

I Choose Foster Care

I have been in foster care before, but this is the first time I chose to be. Before, I was ashamed to be in care because other people might think I didn’t have a mother. Now I realize it wasn’t my fault my mom abused her kids. It’s not my fault I ended up in foster care. Signing myself back into care is the best thing I can do for myself, and I’m not ashamed anymore.

Learning What Family Is at Age 16

It’s no Disney show, but after more than 16 placements, Selena reflects on how stability and safety in a foster home help her overcome anger and aggression. “Now, two years later, it’s even better. Jenny, or Ma, as I call her now, is patient and caring. I have misbehaved and acted out, but she stands by me.”

Gender-Nonconforming Foster Youth Found Acceptance, Concrete Help at High School

A teenage writer explores the difference adults made in his life through acceptance: “School is a way for me to not turn out like my biological family. I love them, but I do not like the things they do. It makes me sad that their children may grow up the way I did — in foster care.”

The American Dream Delayed by Addiction

A young writer reflects on how his father’s addiction impacted his family, his growing up and his own substance use. “After everything, I didn't want to be like him. I did not want be controlled by anything.”

Because I’m Free

A young writer’s story indicates many places where youth workers and systems could have intervened — healing child sexual abuse, treating drug abuse, protection during homelessness and providing an education.