We were, too! Which is why our founder created Foster Alumni Mentors (FAM). Based on her own experience of entering foster care at age 14 and aging out at age 17, she experienced firsthand the impact of a lack of resources for foster alumni. So, she did something about it.
FAM is an organization that supports anyone over the age of 16 who is currently in foster/kinship care or has ever been in foster/kinship care—essentially anyone who wasn’t raised by their biological parents (even if you never were a ward of the state). That support can look like a bunch of different things depending on what the individual’s needs are. For example:
Whether it’s our monthly group meet-ups (affectionately called “FAM Time”), one-on-one mentoring with FAM staff, educational workshops and retreats, or specialized groups for moms and teens, you’ll be in good company with those who understand and believe in you.
Yes, if any of these sound like you, you’re totally eligible.
After aging out of foster care, “Sandy” tried to reunite with her birth mother. Not having grown up with her mom, she did not really know or understand her mother’s addiction to drugs or its impact on her own behaviors. After connecting, Sandy soon realized she was in a very dangerous environment and left her mother’s home. Unfortunately, without any other strong family or social support, Sandy found herself lonely and engaging with people with issues and behaviors similar to those of her mother.
Referred to FAM by her former DHS case manager who saw her struggling, Sandy says, “As part of FAM, I definitely learned healthier coping skills to deal with my trauma. I have been able to connect with people who understand me, and I’ve been educated in so many things that I never knew about. I have learned to set boundaries – not only with my mother, but also the other people that surround me. Setting those boundaries has allowed me to break away from people who aren’t making the best decisions in their lives.”
FAM highly values the relationships with and between our staff and “Members” (foster alumni). Having been in foster care ourselves, we can understand firsthand having feelings of self-doubt and difficulty trusting or relying on others. So, we want to be sure to tell you now (and anytime you need a reminder):
We’d love to have you. Reach out via any of the methods below to learn about how to get started or to ask any questions.