‘I Was Adopted After Living in 24 Foster Homes’

I was four when I first went into foster care, but for a few years I moved back and forth between foster care and my mom’s home. Then, at the age of seven my mom terminated her parental rights. It was really hard moving around a lot, especially trying to adapt to different schools, families and homes. It’s a lot to handle, but I tried not to show it too much.

You get used to it and I think it made me stronger than most teenagers out there today. I grew up thinking I was all by myself and so, I adapted to doing things by myself. I’m 17 now, and I think it’s given me a lot more knowledge and opened my eyes about what the world can be like. I also learned how to talk to other kids and how to treat them. I think a lot of

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For young adults reared in foster homes, the holiday meal is a staple

When the coronavirus pandemic put an end to big holiday family dinners, Kathy Mize scrambled to find a way to keep spirits high.

She and a team of volunteers packaged 200 Thanksgiving meals in to-go style boxes: turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, green beans, macaroni and cheese, greens and desserts. A similar meal is being planned closer to Christmas.

Mize is the CEO of Ready for Life, a Largo-based nonprofit that works with people between the ages of 15 and 25 who are preparing to age out, or have already aged out, of the foster care system. To her, and many of the 400 to 500 young clients she works with each year, it feels like they’re a family.

“It’s kind of like our own kids,” Mize said. “We want them to come back and visit. … We learned early on they need family traditions. They need someone to show them

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Ada S. McKinley community services addresses youth in need of foster care homes increases during COVID-19 pandemic

CHICAGO (WLS) — The impact of COVID-19 on the foster care system has often been overlooked.

“We have seen a 30% increase in the number of youth that are in need of foster homes and in need of foster parenting,” said Nichole Anyaso, Vice President of Child Welfare services for Ada S. McKinley Community Services.

Young children and teenagers taken from abusive and neglected homes, some made only worse by the lack of escape during shutdowns, have been among the most affected.

“What we’ve found is typically they’ve been placed with extended family members who are simply unable to provide care for them during this difficult time,” Anyaso said.

Ada S. McKinley community services is their refuge, but what these children need is a safe home.

Someone to love and care for them.

“I had thought about it years ago and my kids are grown and gone,” said Sandra Minter,

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Woman who bounced among foster homes named Rhodes Scholar

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A woman who as a child bounced among foster homes and often slept on the couches of friends in Missouri has been named a 2021 Rhodes Scholar.

Mackenzie Fierceton, 23, is one of just 32 U.S. college students awarded a four-year scholarship for graduate studies at the University of Oxford in England, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Another local Rhodes Scholar is 21-year-old Jamal Burns, who went to Duke University after graduating from Gateway STEM High School in St. Louis. He will graduate in May with a history degree.

Fierceton said her foster homes were in several St. Louis area municipalities, including Manchester, Clayton and Creve Coeur. She is a 2016 graduate of the Whitfield School in Creve Coeur, and praised the teachers at the school.

“They were my family when I had no one else,” she said. “They stepped up as role models and served

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After years in foster homes, boy, 16, gets forever family

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Mike Blackburn had a question for his soon-to-be son.

Mike, his wife, Luanne, and their adoptive son Brandon, had taken a brief getaway to Destin, Florida. Brandon, who had spent most of his life in the Indiana child welfare system, loved fishing, so Mike took him to the deep sea to see what they could catch. (A 4-foot-long reef shark, Brandon boasted.)

One evening, as the family was walking away from the beach, Mike paused for a moment. He asked Brandon to look around him. At the beach and the ocean. Reflect on what they’d done and seen so far.

“A year ago, today,” Mike remembered asking him, “did you think you’d be here?”

November is National Adoption Month, and Brandon — whose adoption was finalized in September — is spending it with his forever family. Across the state, around 1,500 Indiana children are eligible for adoption.

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DeWine pledges to reduce number of foster kids who never get adopted

Catherine Candisky
| The Columbus Dispatch

A group reviewing ways to improve Ohio’s children services system on Friday released 37 recommendations to help more foster children find permanent homes and make other reforms to the child welfare system.

The Children Services Transformation Advisory Council, created a year ago by Gov. Mike DeWine, called for: training and support for high-risk parents to help keep families intact; the creation of a state ombudsman to investigate complaints about the foster-care system; additional help for kinship caretakers; and expanding local programs to place foster children in permanent homes.

The council also had several recommendations for improving how the court system deals with child welfare cases, including a review of the court-appointed special advocate and guardian ad litem programs and reinforcement of the established 12-month requirement for reunification and placement.

DeWine said Ohio simply has to do better for these children.

“In less than a

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Commercial Real Estate Investors Must Foster Conversations, Especially During Pandemic

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Commercial property values have changed in the last six months due to the pandemic and real estate is currently in unchartered territory. That is according to the president of commercial real estate brokerage NAI Pleasant Valley, Alec Pacella, who spoke Wednesday at the 2020 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

Pacella, who hosted a session titled, “Selling CRE Properties: How COVID-19 Impacts the Numbers,” summarized the recent history of the commercial real estate industry, including its pricing index, value peaks and buyer expectations.

“We’ve had a great run over the last six or seven years,” Pacella said of commercial real estate investment.

“In the early part of last decade – 2006, 2007, 2008 – expectations were actually greater than the pricing index. There was more demand than there was supply.”

But in 2009 and 2010, as Pacella notes, expectations were lower than the

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HUD announces Glens Falls foster youth housing voucher program

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Tuesday, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced a new voucher program in Glens Falls to help young people at-risk for homelessness because they are aging out of the foster care system.

Glens Falls Housing Authority is one of 43 public housing authorities in 24 states that will receive the funding. It’s meant to help young adults as they transition out of foster care. Stockbridge Housing Authority in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, is another recipient.

“Today’s announcement is just the beginning of investing in the lives of our foster youth. Glens Falls Housing Authority will be able to secure the future of one young adult and bring a much-needed sense of security and stability to this young person’s life,” said Lynne Patton, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “Young people are our future and investing in them is an investment

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HUD Secretary Ben Carson announces new foster youth housing vouchers in 24 states | KAMR

FORT WORTH, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced $1.9 million for 235 former foster youth in the most recent round of grants for HUD’s Foster Youth To Independence (FYI) Initiative. 43 Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) in 24 states will receive this funding to continue HUD’s efforts to assist young adults transitioning out of foster care. 

Texas organizations, according to the announcement, will receive a total of $230,121 under the program.  The El Paso Housing Authority will receive $11,944.  Panhandle Community Services of Amarillo will receive $152,742.  And, the Brazos Valley Council of Governments in Bryan will receive $65,435.

“Today, I am pleased to announce the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative has changed the lives of more than 1,000 young adults by helping them secure a place to call home,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “These young people are powerful change-agents, making contributions that will

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Animal Rescue League of Boston offering foster homes for pets put out by evictions

The Animal Rescue League of Boston plans to try to keep a roof over the heads of the Boston area’s animals, offering anyone now facing eviction the chance to temporarily put their furry friends up in a foster home.

a person talking on a cell phone: BOSTON MA. - OCTOBER 22:  Aimee Christian, vp animal welfare and veterinary medicine, speaks as the Animal Rescue League announces a program to temporarily house pets during these trying times and went pet owners get beyond the tough time, reunite the pets with their pet owners, rather than pet owners abandoning their pets, on October 22, 2020 in Boston, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

© Provided by Boston Herald
BOSTON MA. – OCTOBER 22: Aimee Christian, vp animal welfare and veterinary medicine, speaks as the Animal Rescue League announces a program to temporarily house pets during these trying times and went pet owners get beyond the tough time, reunite the pets with their pet owners, rather than pet owners abandoning their pets, on October 22, 2020 in Boston, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

“At the core of its mission, ARL believes in keeping people and pets together, and is offering temporary shelter for animals whose owners may be experiencing housing instability or may be at imminent risk of homelessness,” the organization said

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