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Apr 10, 2023

In this episode of Change It Up Radio, Paula Shaw is joined by Jenna Mendez, a foster youth counselor, licensed professional counselor, nationally board-certified counselor, school counselor, and adjunct professor at Chapman University, to discuss the unique challenges that foster youth are faced with, and the support systems in place to help them succeed.


Jenna provides insight on the trauma that these children experience when they're removed from their homes, and the efforts made to place them in safe living arrangements. She describes the various ways children can enter the foster care system, including being born into it in certain scenarios, the reality of abuse within the foster care system, and the role of group homes for children with more severe situations.


We discuss the difficulties in finding suitable foster homes for children, as well as the importance of keeping them in their school of origin whenever possible, the court-ordered requirements for parents to regain custody of their children, and the need for education and awareness to help close the achievement gap and provide these children with a brighter future.


Some key topic points covered in this episode include:


  • Challenges faced by foster youth and the cycle of trauma in foster care
  • The trauma experienced by foster children when removed from their homes
  • The process of placing foster children in safe and suitable living arrangements
  • The role of group homes in providing care for children with more severe situations
  • The need for counseling, support, and advocacy for foster children
  • The prevalence of foster youth in the United States and the need for support programs
  • The importance of connection and belonging for foster children


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