Stories / Youth
The best evidence we can provide to show that our program works is through the stories of our youth. Isabel is a 4th grader in our program who exemplifies the need for intensive, long-term mentors for foster youth. Isabel, her two sisters, and her brother have been in and out of foster care much of their lives. Their parents suffer from alcohol and drug abuse, and the children have witnessed extensive domestic violence in their home. Isabel and her siblings were removed and placed into foster care for the last time in January 2013 and have had multiple placements since then. Heartbreakingly, they have suffered emotional, physical, and sexual abuse in every single one of their foster homes.
Isabel’s Friend, Kylie, provides support for not only Isabel, but also for Isabel’s siblings. Due to the amount of transitions with their other service providers, Kylie is often the sole adult who knows the children’s history and needs. Therefore, she is often the person who manages their contact with DHS and other service providers, as well as the parents and foster parents, to ensure that all parties are working together in the best interest of the children. Kylie is the person who consistently attends Isabel’s parent-teacher conferences, keeps them on track with their schoolwork, advocates on behalf of Isabel and her family, takes Isabel and her sister to soccer practices, enrolls the children in summer camp for foster youth and ensures they attend, and provides emotional support and guidance to Isabel when difficult life challenges arise relating to her experience at home and in foster care. Without Kylie’s presence, there would not be a stable, consistent, and positive role model in Isabel’s life.