on foster care issues:

4 Ways to Spin Your Thanksgiving

| November 25th, 2014


Have you ever helped your foster brother with his homework? Or listened to your best friend vent about a bad breakup?

Didn’t it feel great to know you were able to help someone else, especially after your brother or friend thanked you for lending a hand in their time of need?

Now imagine that giddy feeling…TIMES TEN!

Volunteering at a mission or shelter for the homeless this holiday season will help you feel on top of the world as you give of yourself to those who have less than you. Imagine that mother’s smile as you pour her children a cup of soup, or that elderly man’s warm embrace as he thanks you for sitting with him in a nursing home.

You can visit a hospital or even serve in a shelter. No matter the good deed, volunteering on Thanksgiving will help you be a blessing to others while also reminding you of the many things you have to be thankful for.


Want to know the guarantee to an enjoyable holiday? Friends.

Turn your Thanksgiving into a “Friendsgiving” by inviting a few friends over to enjoy good food, great conversation and lifelong memories.

Friendsgiving is the perfect occasion to celebrate the gift of life with the gift of friendship.

Relax at home

After a busy day at work and back-to-back finals, there’s nothing greater than coming home to your warm, comfy bed.

The holidays are no different.

If you want to spend your day relaxing at home, follow Nike and Just Do It!

Enjoy your favorite meal, take a bubble bath or treat yourself to something you’ve wanted for a while.

It’s your well-deserved day off, and you can and should spend it however you want to.

Create Your own Tradition

The very first Thanksgiving celebration took place in 1621. And, as well all know, a lot has changed since then!

Who says Thanksgiving has to mean football, carving turkey and stuffing your face with pumpkin pie? Maybe you’d like to attend a church service, catch a movie or check out a concert with some friends?

It’s 2014 and the America we live in is much different than when the Pilgrims first arrived. Don’t be afraid to embrace the new millennium and create your own holiday traditions—even if they seem to go against the “norm.”

Celebrate this Thanksgiving in ways that are fun and meaningful to you!

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Money Matters! Lacresha White Explains Why

| November 20th, 2014

Lacresha White, Frostburg State University

Lacresha White, Frostburg State University

What happens when you put former foster youth in a room full of foster care professionals?

Education…but the “teacher” may surprise you.

On Nov. 17, 2014, the Child Welfare League of America hosted “Financial Challenges Facing Youth in Transition,” a panel discussion about how to create policies and practices to help foster youth with money management.

And while professionals from a variety of organizations swapped ideas and best practices, two unique people helped shed light on the struggles of stepping out of the foster care system, and blindly, stepping in to a world driven by finances.

FC2S student and 2014 Aim Higher Fellow, Lacresha White, and R.J. Tilley, an Our House alumnus, both shared their ups and downs when learning to manage money.

Read on to discover why Lacresha felt the need to tell her story to industry professionals, what she hopes they took away after listening and what she believes every young person should learn about money management.

1.Why did you agree to speak at this event?

I’m strongly passionate about being an advocate for foster youth and all the challenges that we face. I feel people hear the challenges but they’re not fully understanding how they can implement ways to help us in their practices.

2. Explain the value of foster care professionals hearing your experiences.
Lacresha & Richard from Our House

Richard Bienvenue of Our House talks with Lacresha White

I think people learn from others’ experiences; you have to see it firsthand. So if you’re hearing it from someone who never experienced it, you’re not going to learn very much.

It’s also about building that empathy; when you hear a story you’re right there with them and you’re feeling how they felt in that situation.

3. You’re 18 and about to exit foster care. When it comes to money management, what are the top four things you need to know?

How to:

  • Open a bank account: You receive ETV funds, scholarships, grants and/or a refund check that you’ll need to safely put away. Also, you will start a job and get a paycheck, which should be saved.
  • Build your credit: We will all need credit at some point in the future. (ex. Buying a car, renting an apartment, turning on your utilities)
  • Maintain your credit: The higher your credit score the better.
  • Budget and don’t overspend your money: We aren’t used to receiving a lump sum of money in foster care; so, it’s important that we understand how to budget and not immediately spend every dime.
4. What are some of the main things you hope professionals took away from your discussion about financial challenges facing foster youth?

I hope that they learned that it’s not just about having the supply of resources available for foster youth; it’s also about meeting them where they are and understanding all the different dynamics of what’s going on today and what we need to learn. Professionals must be able to put that into a course or workshop that actually tailors to a foster youth’s level and present state at that time.

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Challenges and Solutions from the 2013 National Convening

| August 12th, 2014



On October 22, 2013, an extraordinary group of invited individuals representing child welfare, higher education, and state, local and national organizations gathered in Los Angeles to collectively address the unique educational challenges of foster youth in postsecondary programs. Read More

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Foster U Announcement

| August 5th, 2014


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Meet Our 2014 Aim Higher Fellows!

| May 31st, 2014

Aim HigherAIM HIGHER uses video and social media to engage foster parents, social workers, mentors and employers in FC2S’ national movement to link education and training to employment and successful adulthood. Read More

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Congratulations Graduates!!!

| May 30th, 2014

ScholarshipsToday, we celebrate some of our 2013-14 graduates. Read More

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Miguel O. was honored for his expressive writing

| May 29th, 2014


Miguel is a high school senior from Brooklyn, NY and grand prize award winner of the 16th annual Awards for Youth in Foster Care.  Over 50 NYC foster youth submitted entries to this contest honoring excellence in creative writing.  Read More

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Fanta K., boldly facing a new future

| May 28th, 2014


When Fanta arrived in the U.S. from Sierra Leone, the Maryland winters shocked her. “I came in June, but then around October the weather started changing. It was too cold!  I didn’t think I would be here for that long,” she says. Read More

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Tyler B. is achieving his goals

| May 27th, 2014



Twenty-nine year old Tyler just received his associate degree – with honors – in Behavioral Science from Northeast Community College in Nebraska, and will now pursue his bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Wayne State University.  He, and all those who care about him, are rightfully proud. Read More

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Gary L. will treat children and make them laugh

| May 26th, 2014


Gary is currently studying a combination of Psychology, Natural Sciences, and Nursing at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. He will graduate with his BA in 2017.  He dreams of becoming a nurse practitioner for Children’s Services, and perhaps sharing his expertise as an instructor at the University of Alaska. Read More

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