The New Foster Care held a Listening Session to understand the root of the hardships those with lived experience in foster care face. This opportunity allowed our youth and emerging adults to voice their experiences with the support of their peers and in the presence of trained professionals.
What is a Listening Session?
A Listening Session is a meeting for open discussion with our youth and emerging adults led by an alumnus of The New Foster Care concerning their experiences, disturbances, and unmet expectations in the foster care system. During this time, our navigators, wellness coaches, and members of the Michigan Federation for Children and Families listened in and discerned domains requiring reform. Our youth speakers provided valuable accounts of breakdowns in the legal system, resistance to seeking help, abuse, neglect, and feelings of anxiety and depression.
Despite some of the upsetting challenges discussed, our Listening Session concluded with a written activity encouraging optimistic statements about the future. Our youth and emerging adults presented their sheets gladly inclined to share their remarkable resilience and aspirations with the proper support they can flourish as self-sufficient men and women.
One of our emerging adults wrote, “I have hope to become a better person than I was before going into the Juvenile system. I will not let my past define my future.”
Our youth have hope for a bright future. They hope they receive the proper support. And hope fellow emerging adults everywhere share in their successes.
We have hope that opportunities like this Listening Session can impact the Foster Care System through awareness of the experiences and perspectives of those with lived experience in the system.