Misty’s life in ‘the system’ was a study in constant change and transition. She packed up her trash bags to go from one placement to the next, then back to her bio family, back to care, repeat, repeat, repeat, totaling somewhere around 30 placements. Through Misty’s time in foster care and the juvenile justice system, she experienced foster homes, kinship care, shelters, residential treatment centers, group homes, hospitals, detention, and correctional centers. Though in nearly every placement, she found hardworking and honorable people, what she never did find is a permanent place to belong or a family of her own.
Working on FLUX with the team has been both emotionally challenging, and incredibly rewarding. Misty has found the Transitions Framework to be eye-opening in understanding her own experiences and reactions to the changes she’s faced—and also comforting, some proof that finding herself in the wilderness of the not-so-neutral zone isn’t evidence of ‘having issues’ but rather part of being human (particularly a foster human) and trying to figure out how to deal with change.
As an adult, Misty has used her life experiences to inform her work and the family she has made. She holds a Master’s degree in social work and has been a child protection worker, a clinical social worker for youth in treatment foster care and their families, a nationally-known trainer on foster care issues, and a foster care advocate for more than 20 years. She has also served as the licensed foster parent for three teens—Chris, Sean, and Tomikia—caring for them through their transitions to adulthood and maintaining a lifelong bond of love and commitment. Misty’s family includes a large community of alumni brothers and sisters, very close friends, and her beloved husband Jay.
Misty is a founding member of Foster Care Alumni of America and is proud to have served as the Deputy Director. She lead many of FCAA’s efforts including FLUX, the postcard project, the Alumni Leadership Institute, and FCAA’s chapters. She feels privileged to have worked everyday with people she loves, relates to, and claims as her giant extended family.