foster care

 

  

On the September 3rd, 2014 edition of Your Call, we’ll have a conversation with current and former foster care youth about their experiences. On any given day, there are approximately 397,000 children in foster care in the United States. 60,000 are in California. On average, children remain in state care for nearly two years, but some remain in the system for five or more. What changes would foster youth like to change? How can ordinary citizens help transform the foster care system? It’s Your Call, with Holly Kernan, and you.
 

A starting place for former foster youth

Mar 17, 2014
Rachel Wong


Dejon Lewis was 11 years old when child protective services arrived to take him and his twin sister away from their mother, whom he says is a drug addict. But instead of giving themselves over to the state, the two children made a run for it. Lewis says they stayed with a family friend for a while, but eventually they turned themselves in, and that’s when he entered the foster care system. Since then, Lewis has bounced around a lot.

“It’s hard to live when you’re just living with strangers and strangers and strangers, and no relatives. But I know down the road that that wouldn’t last forever, so I had to figure out how to be more independent,” he says.

Beyond Emancipation

It’s audition day for Beyond Idol. Contestants pace around a large waiting area at Laney College, practicing softly to themselves as they wait for their turn.

This is a contest for Alameda County’s foster and probation youth, designed to showcase their talent and boost their self-confidence. Categories include original poetry, singing and rapping. There are definitely jitters in the room as each contestant goes before a panel of five judges. But the judges are kind in their feedback, like Judge Ralph Hall.