The Issue: Foster Youth Without Connections to Their Past
Every day, young people age out of foster care in California, leaving their temporary homes at age 18 without having been reunified with their birth families or adopted. Many have spent their youth moving from home to home, never having a chance to form lasting adult relationships, so they are left alone to remember their past and plan for their future.
The Campaign: Providing Life Books for Foster Youth
If 17 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then Seneca Family of Agencies can fund life memory books for two youth in foster care enrolled in Seneca Center programs. Each additional $85 raised will fund a life book for another youth.
Therapeutic counselors work with youth in foster care, meeting weekly to discuss their interests, take pictures at their favorite sites, and interview people who are important in their lives. Youth then write down their memories and paste pictures of the people and places they love in a life book to document who they are and better retain their happy memories. Having scrapbooks to reflect on their past can help foster youth create a meaningful bond with their childhoods and give them a sense of identity and personal history, as well as a foundation from which to develop goals for the future.
Seneca Family of Agencies
Seneca Family of Agencies was founded in 1985 to prevent foster youth from getting lost in the system and failing to achieve their potential. Today, as a leading children's mental-health agency in northern California, Seneca has expanded its programs to serve emotionally troubled youth and their families in a variety of situations. Seneca provides a broad range of residential treatment, school-based programs, and at-home services, all run by staff members who are dedicated to providing unconditional and individualized care and using whatever tools necessary to help people cope with crisis. They also collaborate with local agencies to ensure families receive adequate support services. In-school mental-health teams allay temporary spikes in emotional instability, whereas one-on-one meetings and group meetings with foster families help youth identify their support circle.
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