Posted by John Ester on Nov 19, 2019
Shenandoah Chefalo, author of Garbage Bag Suitcase, is herself a survivor of the foster care system.  She is also a faculty member and trainer at the Center for Trauma Resilient Communities--a new initiative by the Crossnore School and Children's Home to help organizations translate the science of trauma and adversity.
As we learned at the recent Paul Oliver program on Adverse Childhood Experiences ("ACES"), traumatic experiences in one's childhood can have an adverse effect on one's health as an adult.  Being in the foster care system certainly is traumatic, and statistics reflect that foster care alumni make up a disproportionately large percentage of those suffering such things as unwelcome pregnancies and imprisonment.
There are more than 400,000 children in foster care in the U.S. and some 15,000 children in Michigan awaiting adoption.  Many will be homeless on their 18th birthday.  What can we do about this?
  • Adopt
  • If you can't adopt, Foster
  • If can't foster, Sponsor
  • If you can't sponsor, Volunteer
  • If you can't volunteer, Donate
  • If you can't donate, Educate and Advocate
As we heard at the Paul Oliver symposium, one of the best ways to help is by mentoring. During the Q&A session Val reminded us of the mentoring opportunities currently available to us at Benzie Central.