04 Sep FCAA Remembers George Sheldon
FCAA Remembers George Sheldon
Foster Care Alumni of America (FCAA), is the national voice for over 400,000 children living in foster care and nearly 12 million alumni, including 19 state chapters. We honor and mourn the loss of George Sheldon, who passed suddenly on August 23, 2018.
George Sheldon was a leader in creating child welfare programs and systems that were sensitive to the needs of youth in care and young adults. In this sense, he was a pioneer, involving young people every step of the way in the journey to making child welfare meet the real needs of youth.
George lead by example by hiring alumna with lived experiences no matter where he went. He promoted the active leadership and voice at times. He encouraged the FCAA members and its development through early mentoring, sponsorship, and the national foster policy council work.
George had a career that exemplified advocacy, sound administration, and reform. Most recently he was President/CEO of Our Kids of Miami-Dade and Monroe, Inc. His career also included service as Acting Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Attorney General in Florida, Secretary at the Florida Department of Children and Families, and Dean of the St. Thomas University Law School.
George also served as Director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, where he strengthened youth advocacy within child welfare by including youth and alumni in program and policy development, legislation, and state child welfare infrastructure.
Youth and alumni in
Illinois expressed their deep appreciation for George’s work – both as partners and on their behalf. “Behind the scenes, we could see clearly what a big heart George Sheldon had,” said James McIntyre, President of the Foster Care Alumni of America – Illinois Chapter. “When a current youth in care was in need of services, George took it upon himself to make sure they got what they needed. When an alumnus was fighting the red tape to obtain services for youth in care, George was there with a pair of scissors.”
April Curtis, an alum of Illinois’ system, and Chair of FCAA’s National
Board of Directors, also remembers him as a leader, mentor and friend. “Your impact in child welfare will live on”, she said. “You didn’t take a seat with the titles, you always stayed with the kids and families you served, you always said that was the best seat in the house, to be closer to the ones who are directly impacted by what we do. It was not a job for you – it was a way of life.”
FCAA mourns the loss of this great man, and honors the memory of his way of life that meant so much to so many.
April M Curtis