We’d like to take a moment to thank all the social workers who work tirelessly for children in foster care. Your days are long and too often touched by heartbreak. But because of your dedication and concern, you help create joy and hope for the families you serve.
In honor of National Foster Care Month, here are some amazing foster care success stories. We hope you find them to be an inspirational and heartwarming reminder of why you work so hard for your children and families.
Editor’s note: this post was originally published on May 23, 2013 as "5 Inspiring Foster Care Success Stories." Today, exactly five years later, we’re adding five more stories. Why? Unfortunately, we’ve learned that the media tends to focus on the negative when it comes to things like foster care, adoption, and child welfare. However, we’ve had enough conversations with social workers to know that for every negative story shared, there’s an equally positive one that wasn’t (or that got far less attention). So, it’s our job to help share them.
1. Foster Mom’s Touching Video Tribute to Her Adopted Children
A mom details her story of adoption from foster care with a beautiful photo montage.
2. Child Welfare Worker Adopts Teen with 24 Hours to Spare
Just 24 hours before Damien Cavazos turned 18 and aged out of the adoption system, child protective services worker Rebecca Cavozos and her husband, Steven, adopted him into their family.
3. Foster Family Strives to Reunite Kids with Biological Families
The Knox Family has provided a temporary home for seven foster children, from 2 days old to 2 years old. While doing so, the Knox Family also works to help reunite the children with their biological families as soon as possible.
4. Foster Kid Turns Talents into Education on Foster Care
Former foster kid, Kayla Becker, is utilizing an internship with the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law to develop a video series to educate the public on the importance of permanency, safety and well-being for children within the foster system.
5. Changing Lives for Children Who Age Out of Foster Care
As a warden working in a Pennsylvania state prison, John Thomas saw first-hand what could happen to children who aged out of foster care. He and his wife, Jane, committed to rewriting the story by adopting four teens.
6. Fostering and Adopting Medically Fragile Children
“Keeping Kyrie” author Emily Christensen reflects on fostering 87 children in four years, six of whom—all with special needs—she and her husband also adopted.
7. Former Foster Child Becomes “Champion of Change”
Almost 20 years after her “gotcha” date, Mary Lee shares how foster care changed her life for the better. Today, she’s building a career around making foster care better for children who follow in her footsteps.
8. Olympic Gold Medalist Helps Other Foster Youth Achieve Their Goals
Simone Biles, the most decorated American gymnast in history, recognizes that she had more support, resources, and opportunity than many other children in foster care. Because of that, she believes it’s her duty to provide assistance to those most in need. Earlier this year, Simone launched a scholarship program to invest in children in foster care so they, too, can have the opportunity to succeed.
9. Iowa Couple Fosters 100 Babies
Deb and Mike Schuring lost two babies in the 1980s, both born on Mother's Day a year apart. Now the couple has fostered their 100th child, because “one diaper, one midnight bottle feeding at a time, each baby is what matters.”
10. Northwoodian Reflects on Friends’ Foster Parenting Success
Thank you to Lisa Bailey—a social worker by trade, former Foster Parent Trainer, and current member of Northwoods’ Protective Services team—for sharing this final story! (Editor's note: Names have been changed for confidentiality.)
“My friend, Tina, was a foster parent and had been one for 24 years. On Tina and her husband’s first date, they both revealed that they wanted children of their own, but that they also had a heart to help kids that were hurting. Around the same time, a 16-year-old girl, Sarah, went to her teacher to tell of the abuse and neglect that was going on day by day, month by month, and year by year at home—verbal and emotional abuse from her mother, and sexual abuse from her father. Sarah was placed at my friend Tina's house, and Tina took Sarah in as her own. Sarah thrived! Sarah graduated from high school and applied to go to Wright State University where she completed her business degree. Sarah was the first in her family to graduate from college. What an achievement! It was so fun to watch her grab on to a healthier life and to succeed in her educational and personal life. We celebrated every step with her! Sarah is now married with a son, and her new family is all accepted as part of Tina’s family, too."
National Foster Care Month
May is National Foster Care Month—a time to acknowledge the foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, Child Welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections. It is also a time to focus on ways that we can each play a part in creating a bright future for the more than 430,000 children and youth in foster care.
For more information on how you can help, please visit www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth today.
We’d like to take a moment to thank all the social workers who work tirelessly for children in foster care. Your days are long and too often touched by heartbreak. But because of your dedication and concern, you help create joy and hope for the families you serve. In honor of National Foster Care Month ...