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What Youth Wish Foster, Adoptive & Kinship Parents Knew

  • July 22, 2021
  • 10:00 AM (PDT)

What Youth Wish Foster, Adoptive & Kinship Parents Knew

Join us for a conversation with former foster youth who are sharing their lived experiences and wisdom gained after navigating the child welfare system. What are caregivers doing right — or wrong? What do youth see in the foster care system that caregivers don't? And how can caregivers help youth on the journey toward healing trauma?

Our panelists: 

  • Alexis Lenderman-Black, a recent graduate of Western Michigan University and alumni of the Seita Scholars Program. She and her husband published an award-winning, bestselling book titled Redefining Normal: How Two Foster Kids Beat The Odds and Discovered Healing, Happiness and Love. 
  • Kim & Brian Switalski, parents who have been married 22 years and have had many adventures together including parenting biological, foster, and adopted children of all ages. 
  • Stefany and Christopher Lang, who have been fostering since 2014 and have parented nine children. Stefany is currently training to be a foster parent trainer.
  • Sean Lang, 15, who came into foster care in 2012. He was in four previous foster homes with his older siblings. 
  • Syd Stewart, a published performance poet, actor and filmmaker who is currently in development for a TV project with a major network and is the founder and executive director of Better Youth, Inc., a nonprofit organization that uses poetry and media arts to equip foster youth with creative confidence.
  • Raquel Wilson, youth voice program manager for Fostering Media Connections, and a former foster youth from Compton, California. She holds a master’s degree in grant writing, management, and evaluations and recently obtained an MBA in nonprofit management from Concordia University of Chicago.

Moderated by Kim Hansel, editor of Fostering Families Today magazine.

Date: Thursday, July 22
Time: 10 a.m. Pacific


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For over 20 Years, ICM has supported public policies that open windows and doors of opportunity so Georgia’s children achieve their full potential.

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