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Authentic Voices Video Series: Sharing Our Perspective

Authentic Voices Video Series: Sharing Our Perspective

The Capacity Building Center for States raises awareness and provides resources to promote normalcy for children and youth in foster care and to support the implementation of related provisions in the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, Public Law 113-183. The normalcy aspect of the law promotes participation in age-appropriate activities and experiences that allow for healthy development and well-being for youth involved in foster care. The following collection of videos shares the stories of foster and adoptive parents, children, youth, and professionals, which lends insight into issues of belonging, connection, development, and normalcy for children and youth in out-of-home care.

Adoptive Family: DNA Doesn’t Define a Family—Love Does

Shares stories from Melinda, a foster and adoptive parent, and Frankie, her adopted son, about what it means to be a family, and their struggle to maintain normalcy within the child welfare system.

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Adoptive Family: Negotiating “Normal”

Shares stories from Caia, a young person who was formerly in foster care, and her foster and adoptive parents, Amanda and Deena, about negotiating boundaries, communication, support, and normalcy as a family.

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Community-Based Provider: Empowering Caregiver Decision-Making

Shares Stephen’s story about being a community-based provider and policymaker in Florida, the need for laws that empower caregiver decision-making, creating Florida’s reasonable and prudent parent standard (RPPS), and the effect RPPS and normalcy laws can have on foster care.

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Kinship Family: Creating a Sense of Belonging

Shares Annette’s story about raising her nephew as a kinship and adoptive parent, understanding her dual role as both aunt and primary caregiver, and providing and advocating support for kinship parents and families.

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Kinship Family: He Is an Extension of Me

Shares Donaniece’s story about her decision to become her grandson's legal guardian at the age of 50, the practical and financial challenges she faced, and how she is teaching her grandson the meaning of "family."

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Kinship Family: They Are My Daughters

Shares Molene’s story about becoming the primary caregiver for her four nieces, raising them, adopting them, negotiating the child welfare system, and creating a family.

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Kinship Family: You Get a Call, Do You Want These Kids?

Shares Bruce’s and Brenda’s story about the decision to take over primary care of their four grandchildren and their experiences adopting and raising them.

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Special Needs Family: Supporting Autistic Persons

Shares stories from Shaquan and his mother and sisters, Dee, Janee, and Jayda, about Shaquan’s autism diagnosis, his extended stay in residential care, the struggle to be a family and support Shaquan, the challenges of understanding and negotiating the child welfare system, and the need for increased family support.

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Young Adult, Formerly in Congregate Care: Treat Me Like a Normal Child

Shares Brandon’s story about his experiences in congregate care and his struggle to feel like and be treated as a “normal” child with the ability to make mistakes.

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Young Adult, Formerly in Foster Care: Having the Right People Ask the Right Questions

Shares Raven’s story about entering foster care, being separated from her brother, the importance of speaking up, and the impact of finding a permanent, caring person that is supportive and willing to help.

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Young Adult, Formerly in Foster Care: My People Heal Us

Shares Daryle's story about being separated from his cultural background and Tribal family upon entering foster care and his journey to reconnect with his Tribe.

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Young Adult, Formerly in Foster Care: Reclaiming My Name

Shares Cortez's story about being adopted, having his name changed, returning to foster care, and reclaiming his name, as well as his struggle to build an identity in a constantly changing environment.

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Young Adult, Formerly in Foster Care: This Is My Family, Where I Call Home

Shares Desiree's story about living with the same foster family for 14 years, the stigma associated with being in foster care, and the importance of building and sustaining relationships for children and youth in foster care.

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Young Adult, Formerly in Foster Care: Your Past Doesn’t Dictate Your Future

Shares Amnoni’s story about her experience in the foster care system; her struggle to find stability, normalcy, and familial support; and her decision to never let the past dictate her future.

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