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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jenny Konrath and Sarah Callihan participate in Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Day

On May 21, participating Members of Congress were paired with 40 foster care alumni (ages 18-22) from the Member’s Congressional district. Participating youth accompanied their Members of Congress to hearings, meetings, floor votes, and other activities throughout the morning. These young people had the opportunity to share their stories with Members of Congress and discuss reforms to the foster care system.

Kudos to Jenny Konrath and Sarah Callihan for being chosen to participate in this exciting opportunity. Jenny Konrath was paired with Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, representing Ohio's 11th District.  Sarah Callihan was paired with Congressman Steve Stivers, representing Ohio's 15th District.

Foster Youth Shadow Day Description: Members of Congress are paired with foster youth from their districts. They spend the morning together, from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm.

Representative Marcia L. Fudge posted on her FaceBook page that: May is National Foster Care Month and I had the pleasure of having Jenny Konrath, a young lady from the Dayton area shadow me as part of Foster Youth Shadow Day in Washington. Let me tell you some amazing things about Jenny. She spent 12 years in foster care and is currently a junior at Alter High School. She’s involved in several sports and is an active member of the Ohio Youth Advisory Board and the VISION Board. I enjoyed taking her to an Education and the Workforce Committee hearing with me and motivating her to pursue her dream of becoming an attorney focusing on legislation and advocacy. Yes you can, Jenny. You are that remarkable!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Personal Milestones and Chosen Families After Foster Care

The concept of family privilege is an integral component when it comes to the national and international foster care movement.

What is Family Privilege?
  • Family privilege is defined as the benefits that come from membership in a stable family. 
  • This term refers to an intangible concept; an invisible package made up of assets and pathways that provide children, teens and young adults with a sense of belonging, safety, unconditional love and personal/spiritual values.
  • Family privilege provides youth with the opportunity to observe parents and siblings in action when it comes to addressing the everyday details of life -- this context facilitates what the general public refers to as "common sense."
  • This topic has been explored in detail by John Seita of the Seita Scholars program
So..... where do we go from here?   What do we do if we don't have this resource in our lives?  Or, maybe we have a bit of it - but what we have is damaged, fragmented, complicated... What then?

One opportunity that we always have is to connect with and support one another.

The Ohio chapter of Foster Care Alumni is grateful for the opportunity to celebrate personal milestones with some of our members, such as graduation from high school, officer commissioning, college graduation, and a baby shower!  We also held a birthday party for the daughter of one of our alumni members...