Girl Smiling

A Friends of Youth Success Story

Foster care success stories.

Nancy

In her own words:

“For the first four years I was in foster care, I was never in a home for more than 60 days. I ran away all the time. My drug use was out of control. I was a 16-year-old girl living on my own, selling cocaine to support myself. It all came crashing down around me one night when I had an experience that made me decide to stop using drugs. I called my current case manager and said I wanted to come back.

“He told me about a new program called Friends of Youth, which worked with kids who had problems staying in foster care. The kids I met were amazing. They had all had difficult lives, but the attitude here was different. We were all struggling to find our true selves, now that we were clean and sober. There was real camaraderie and friendship between us as well as between the foster parents. Everyone was working together to make sure the kids in the program had a chance to thrive.

“I always wanted to do something in the arts or something that helped people. I have recently started a business that incorporates both. I feel lucky to be doing it and don't know that I would be if I hadn’t been found by Friends of Youth. They gave me hope; they showed me that I mattered, and if I applied myself I could do anything I wanted. I thank Friends of Youth for making it possible not only for me, but for all of the kids who are going to need help in the future.”

Jason

Jason spent the first ten years of his life dealing with neglect and domestic violence. Placed by the state in the care of aunt, he began to demonstrate behaviors that were beyond her control or understanding. In 2003 he was placed with the Friends of Youth Therapeutic Foster Care Program. There he received a full mental health assessment, treatment and close supervision and support.

His stay at the foster home in North Bend allowed Jason to develop into a much calmer, more mature young man. He and his mother have reconnected, and he calls and visits her frequently. He has held part-time jobs in the North Bend and Issaquah community and has become a respected student. During his senior year, he was selected by his school to attend an International Career Development Conference in Florida. He also received a Governor’s Scholarship to attend college.

Through close work with his therapeutic case manager, his foster parent, his individual treatment aide and his Friends of Youth mental health therapist in Issaquah, he became prepared for life after the Friends of Youth foster care program. After graduating from Mount Si High School in North Bend, he began attending Bellevue Community College in fall 2007.

Note: Names of clients have been changed to protect their privacy.