Tag Archives: foster care

Family Nights for Foster Care Support Is Underway

 

UUCA and CHRIS Kids (foster care support) Family Nights series began  May 8.    Join in!

Here’s a report on “Fun” from the first night!

London Bridge (is falling down), and homemade chicken/vegetable enchiladas, were a hit for nine resident CHRIS Kids moms and their young children at Promise the Children’s May 8 debut of “Family Nights”.

UUCA volunteers Hildegarde Gray, Jo Mitchell, Joy Borra, and Meghan and Harper Ramsey were the launch team for this new, bi-monthly fellowship initiative to support vulnerable young mothers seeking self sufficiency.

In a thank you note to Hildegarde the next day, CHRIS Kids program manager, Shemekla Frazier-Sorrells, writes:

“On behalf of the youth and staff, I would like to extend my greatest appreciation to you and your team. The ladies thoroughly enjoyed helping prepare the meal and fellowshipping with you all. I observed several learning opportunities in which your team modeled with the children appropriate games, interaction and redirection. One of the young ladies said to me, ‘We should have this more often, just for us.’ Thanks for being a blessing to us all.”

 

Promise the Children is building volunteer teams now. If you enjoy meaningful, family-friendly (age 12+) community service opportunities, they don’t come any better!

 

WHAT is the opportunity?
UUCA’s Promise the Children group (PtC) is organizing twice-monthly Family Nights with vulnerable young mothers and their children, including dinner and fun activities.

Beginning May 8th, and each 2nd and 4th Thursday for a trial period of six months, we will coordinate small teams to join a few families at CHRIS Kids for 2 hours of cooking, dining, fellowship and play.

WHY is Promise the Children embarking on this project?
It grew out of the interest of some PtC members in the well-being of Georgia’s children aging out of foster care, and with the bigger picture of food insecurity and nutrition.

600 Georgia youth “age out” of foster care each year without resources for self-sufficiency. While the children in “our” group of CHRIS Kids residents are with birth mothers, they, the mothers, are products of foster care, formerly homeless and seeking the tools to succeed on their own.

WHAT is CHRIS Kids? (www.chriskids.org)
Since 1981, it is one of the leading nonprofit organizations that works with foster children in Atlanta, providing interim housing, health and counseling services, and support systems – their name an acronym for “Creativity, Honor, Respect, Integrity and Safety”.

HOW will Family Nights work?
UUCA volunteers will spend the time building positive relationships with resident mothers and their children (likely 4-6 families on average), primarily through:
i) cooking easy recipes and eating together, demonstrating nutritional enhancements to foods they already know; and,
ii) engaging the children in fun activities such as crafts, reading, games and outdoor play.

First Date: Thursday, May 8th

Time: 3:30-4:30 Intro to CHRIS Kids, training by staff (required)
5:00-7:00 dinner and family activities

Location: CHRIS Kids
1017 Fayetteville Rd., Atlanta 30316

Volunteers: 4-6, in 2 teams working/bonding with residents on:
-Meal prep: recipes and ingredients provided
-Child activity: reading, crafts, games, outside play

WHERE can I get more details and sign up?
Contact: promisethechildren@uuca.org

 

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April 17, 2014 · 5:00 pm

UUCA Volunteers Support the Annual Celebration of Excellence for Children in Foster Care

Life can be tough for kids graduating out of Georgia’s foster care system. Only half graduate from high school, and only a tenth enroll in college. Many become homeless. It’s important to work to improve the situation. It’s also important to recognize the significant achievements of many of the children in foster care.

The annual Celebration of Excellence celebrates the educational achievements of youth in Georgia’s foster care system graduating from high school, GED programs, college, or vocational school. This year a dozen UUCA were inspired to help out with the event, held on June 26 at the Georgia State Rialto Theater.

Carol Jordan and Lisa Guyton were among the bus chaperones. Lisa

UUCA volunteers join Big Bethel bus to meet students arriving for the celebration.

UUCA volunteers join Big Bethel bus to meet students arriving for the celebration.

remembers the event this way,

I had a really great time. It was inspiring to see all of these young people achieve a significant goal.

 I was a little nervous about being a bus chaperone. Would the students be rowdy or hard to manage? Would I remember what to do?

All went well and I had a lovely time talking to the youth and to the adult mentors riding on the bus. I thought the welcoming carpet with photos and drumming was so festive and exciting for the students. I could tell by their beaming faces that they really did feel good at that moment. I stayed for the beginning of the program. The entertainment and speakers were excellent. I can tell that the organizers put a lot of effort into making this a memorable night for the students.

The red carpet walk.

The red carpet walk.

Carol writes that she was also a bus chaperone, and enjoyed meeting and talking with some of the students who were being recognized.

A gal grad said she was joining the Army. I asked if she had already enlisted.  No, she was going to college first.  I said it might be that college would lead to a different path.  She said I know, but write down on the card that I’m going to college and the Army.  The “card” is what they wanted the emcee to read as they accepted their certificates of excellence on stage.  One fellow whose card said G.E.D. had also written down valedictorian.

The buses left late (from hotel near the airport), amidst confusion, and we got mired in traffic.  The kids had been waiting around since 4:30 and it was now almost 6:30 arriving at the Rialto. Grumps quickly turned to smiles as the beat of drums and energy of the gathered crowd beckoned the kids down the red carpet, cameras flashing.

We observed the evening program for a short time. One of the introductory speakers, a leader within the state “system,” eloquently handed these now young adults both a moving tribute and the mantle of role model and mentor going forward.

It was great to meet the folks from Big Bethel AME Church, but especially to get to know some of my fellow UUCAers a little better.

photo 2

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Filed under Foster Care--Transitioning Youth, Our Stories

Older Youth in Foster Care

Many of these youth enter the adult world without the family network, community connections, jobs, housing, health insurance and other resources they need to become self-sufficient responsible adults. More

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Filed under Foster Care--Transitioning Youth