In the last 20 years, there’s been a noticeable uptick in the size and reach of foster care alumni networking organizations and events nationwide. Shalita O’Neale has been an active participant in this movement while running her company, Fostering Change Network LLC(FCN). After O’Neale’s mother died when she was 2, the Baltimore, Maryland, native shuttled between family members until officially entering the foster care system at age 13. She has spent her career using that experience to try to improve the child welfare system.
FCN consults with large city administrations, child welfare agencies and nonprofit service providers nationwide on programming, policy and training.
Now, O’Neale is starting a foundation that will focus exclusively on supporting foster care alumni older than 25. Starting on June 9, the foundation will take the lead organizing the fourth-annual Alumni Powerhouse Networking Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, which O’Neale helped found and which has grown into a professional networking conference attended by hundreds of former foster youth. While FCN focuses on consulting and advising other organizations, the foundation will focus on helping former foster youth. We called her to learn more.
[For more on this story by Michael Fitzgerald, go to https://chronicleofsocialchang...r-foster-youth/30508]