Category: Voice of an FCNI Youth

FCNI Impact: Sacha's Story

by
Sarah Davenport, FCNI Director

Meet Sacha one of the incredibly strong youth in our Wraparound program. After her mother lost her job and they were evicted from their home, Sacha, her mom and two younger sisters had no choice but to move in with her uncle to avoid homelessness. But life in his house was horrific. Unbeknownst to Sacha’s mom, her uncle was a violent man with unpredictable moods. Sacha and her sisters were subjected to his verbal and physical abuse daily, always when their mother was out of the house. When Sacha’s uncle broke her arm in a violent outrage, Sacha’s mom quickly learned the truth and immediately called the police on her brother.

Faced with fear and instability, the family was referred to FCNI's Wraparound Program so each family member could be partnered with the individual support they needed to heal and develop stronger life skills. Sacha's trauma manifested in her behaviors; she was unpredictable and, sometimes violent, especially towards her mom whom she no longer trusted and misguidedly blamed for the abuse. Sacha’s mom expressed to their team how much she was struggling with shame about her choices and that she felt that as a parent she wasn’t able to meet her girls’ needs. Sacha was paired with an Rehabilitation Specialist (RS) to help her identify and process her emotions better, so that she could utilize healthier coping and communication skills to resolve conflicts; and her mother was matched with a Parent Partner so that she could get help navigating her “new normal” within the system--therapy sessions, parenting classes and other requirements of the program.

To help focus their energy and attention on their healing, their Wraparound team collaborated with other partnering agencies to set up a weekly schedule of support, including team meetings, individual and family therapy sessions, Rehabilitation Specialists (RS) contacts, tutoring, school, and life-skills development. Each step in this process required time and patience, the team working slowly to help the family build on their strengths--their love for and commitment to each other--so that they had the skills and confidence to achieve a goal in order to move on to the next. Read Sacha's full story today and find out how you can support families recovering from domestic violence and abuse.

FCNI Impact: Alexis's Story

by
Sarah Davenport, FCNI Director
September, 22, 2021 -

Meet Alexis, one of the brave youth in our care. As a foster youth, she’d been in multiple programs since she was a child, including a group home from which she had transitioned into FCNI’s TAY Housing program at 17. But like most youth her age, Alexis liked the idea of “working towards adult independence” a lot more than she did having to actually do it. She threw crowded parties with drugs and alcohol in her apartment which caused damage and led to her being hospitalized. Eventually, Alexis had to make a choice--she could either try to follow the rules of the program or she would have to exit. Alexis decided to leave her apartment and her support services behind.

Over the next two years, Alexis tried to live on her own. She ended up homeless and fell deeper into substance abuse, both of which put her in danger constantly. When she was hospitalized once again for an overdose, Alexis felt like she was at the end of her rope. At only 20, she had no idea what to do. At the hospital’s social worker’s suggestion, Alexis reached out to her previous Social Services Social Worker for help. After completing an in-patient drug rehabilitation program, Alexis was accepted into Transitional Housing. Once again, Alexis moved into her own apartment to begin her journey toward self-sufficiency. Read her full story today to see how Alexis established strong support systems, healthy life practices, and started on her pathway towards recovery and growth. 

“A Means to Make an Impact”: A Youth Partner’s Story

by
Crystal, FCNI Youth Partner
July, 21, 2021 -

Meet Crystal, one our our incredible youth partners. In her life, Crystal has experienced neglect, and physical and emotional abuse. Through hard work, time, and working with various service providers Crystal has developed an understanding of how to form and maintain boundaries, how to develop and engage in self-care strategies, and how to manage her trauma. Today, Crystal uses her experiences to support families, children, and youth as a Youth Partner within our Family Services Program. Read her full story and how our Full-Service Partnership (FSP) program has impacted her life today! 

Undocumented to Degreed: One Youth’s Journey

Special Contribution from Rosa Granados, TAY-FAP Youth
by
Sarah Davenport, FCNI Director

Rosa entered college undocumented and transitioning from foster care. These two life experiences meant that she faced more obstacles than almost all of her freshmen peers. The only thing that was for certain for Rosa, was that nothing was certain. She had dreams--big dreams--but she wasn’t fully sure if they would be attainable. All she really knew was that she had the drive and the determination to do her part to achieve her goals; all she needed was a little support to go the full distance. 

Restoration: a Foster Youth’s Story

by
Sandra Gomez, FCNI Youth Partner
August, 28, 2019 -

The following is a true story written and shared by a young woman whose bravery knows no bounds. As you read Sandra’s story, remind yourself of the immense courage it required to not only live such a life of trauma and adversity, but how much it took to write it all down, accept the words as your truth and then be willing to share that truth with strangers. Thank you, Sandra, for rising above and continuing to reach for your dreams each and every day; for choosing joy and hope when it doesn’t come easy.  

Kyle & Nick: A Wraparound Program Success

by
Sarah Davenport, FCNI Staff
July, 17, 2019 -

At 12, twins, Kyle and Nick, were very different. Kyle was quick to react—verbally and physically—without much regard for others. While Nick, painfully shy, often let Kyle do all the talking (and reacting) for him. The boys had been placed in Emergency Shelter Care when it was discovered that their parents were unable to provide them with a safe and stable home. In care, both boys displayed the trauma that they experienced through their behaviors--Kyle became more aggressive and Nick withdrew almost completely.

Words to Ignite

A Speech by Monica Lopez
by
Edited by Sarah Davenport, FCNI Staff
June, 20, 2019 -

Every year, our Independent Living Program in SLO County holds an Awards Night to honor our hard working youth--acknowledging their efforts to earn degrees or certifications, secure employment, and reach their life goals. We honor young people like Monica, a former foster youth who recently graduated from the Design School of Cosmetology and obtained her state license. At 20 years old, Monica is now employed at a local salon while raising her healthy, happy son. But her story won’t stop here--Monica plans to continue her education at Cuesta College this fall.

Bailey’s Fight

A Former Foster Youth’s Perspective
by
Intro by Sarah Davenport, FCNI staff
June, 13, 2019 -

Foster Youth who “age-out” of care at 18 or 19 face multiple obstacles, regardless of their intended route to adulthood. Whether they want to go to college, go to a vocational program, or work to meet their own needs, they do so with limited life skills and even more limited resources and support. They also forge their paths alone, without parental safety nets or financial assistance.

Finding His Voice: A Foster Youth Story

by
Sarah Davenport, FCNI Staff
May, 7, 2019 -

Sadly, some kids just get dealt a bad hand in life, through no fault of their own. Clay was one of those kids. He first ended up in foster care when his parents were arrested for using and selling drugs. At the time, Clay’s aunt and uncle stepped forward to give five year old Clay a home. But after many years with the family, Clay’s uncle was arrested for domestic violence and his aunt, severely traumatized, could no longer care for Clay. Now 15, Clay was again placed into foster care for his safety.

From Foster Youth to Fostering Independence: A Youth Partner’s Journey

by
Sandra Gomez, FCNI Youth Partner
December, 11, 2018 -

Hi, I’m Sandra, a new Youth Partner at Family Care Network. I’m a good fit for the job, because I have been in the foster care system since I was thirteen, and I’ve utilized many of the programs that Family Care Network provides! I have been in Emergency Shelter Care, multiple foster homes, received Wraparound services when I was living with my mom, and also participated in the Transitional Housing Placement Program prior to and after turning eighteen. I also utilized the Independent Living Program throughout many of those years.

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