Foster Care Alumni of America is a national non-profit association that has been founded and is led by alumni of the foster care system. We use the term alumni to describe those of us who have been in foster care during our childhood/youth.
The mission of FCAA is to connect the alumni community and to transform foster care policy and practice, ensuring opportunity for people in and from foster care.
FCAA ACTIVITY HIGHLIGHTS
FCAA provides opportunities for alumni to know each other, to share support and information, and to become an extended family for each other. Whether attending meetings, responding to chat rooms, or participating in event, we share our alumni stories and experiences as well as build networks of friendship across the nation.
Examples of activities that connect our members:
- Shared holiday meals: too often alumni are alone during the holidays. The FCAA Thanksgiving dinner, our inaugural holiday meal, symbolically unites us around the table while calling attention to those of us without a table, a meal, or a family during the holiday.
- Online connection: we have Facebook page that includes 30+ current discussion topics such as ‘having children after growing up in foster care’, ‘the stigmas of foster care’, and ‘college after foster care’
- Opportunities: Extended-family type networking among alumni through sharing job and educational/scholarship opportunities, informal mentoring relationships, etc.
- Expression: FCAA has a national community art project where people in and from foster care make postcard art about their foster care experiences .
We work with our allies (those people who haven’t been in foster care but who share our mission), including organizational members, to influence practice and policy in foster care. We do this through participation on boards/committees, by providing training for foster parents and social workers, by raising awareness with the public about foster care issues, and through legislative advocacy. Examples:
- Partnerships: FCAA is a partner with the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Kids are Waiting campaign and have mobilized our members to seek co-sponsors for the Kinship Caregivers Support Act, the development of the ‘de-linking’ bill sponsored by Shelley Berkley, and other important child welfare legislation. Our members have written letters to the editor and have made calls to their congress people. Our members have been key to the development of a number of publications under the campaign. See the "Too Many Birthdays in Foster Care" publication we helped with in this downloadable PDF.
- Outreach: FCAA provides training in many venues. Recently that has included the PA State Foster Parent Association conference, the national It’s My Life conference, the Voices for America’s Children annual conference, and training for mentors through the Orphan Foundation of America.
- Training: Through our Alumni Leadership Institute, FCAA provides training for our members to build their skills to influence foster care practice and policy.
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