As a person who is purposefully childless, it never ceases to amaze me how much the teens in this program have affected me. Over the years, we have had many DCFYI teen participants in our house for small events, holiday meals, hosting or a needed place to stay. We have their pictures and pictures of their children on our refrigerator like I‘ve seen other people do with family members. I have shared experiences with DCFYI teens that we share with others as good times and fond memories, not unlike what you would hear at a family reunion.
We have finished reading Faces of Foster Care, written by DCFYI board member Lisa Aguirre. Lisa's book is a series of profiles of people she interviewed, mostly adults who were in foster care. (The others are adoptive parents or child welfare professionals.)
20 sincere, wholehearted and at times heartbreaking stories are written like mini memoirs and depict various opinions of foster care in the United States.
Media coverage of children being separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border has highlighted the issue of childhood trauma.
Childhood trauma is the subject of much recent research and now informs good child welfare practice.
The short version is that experiences that cause children trauma are very common (see the Adverse Childhood Experiences website) and the impact can be lifelong (potentially affecting both the quality and length of a person’s life).