The youth-written stories in YCteen give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Behind the Scenes: Teen writers describe what it's like to work at YCteen.
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Foster Care System (36 found)
Note: These stories are from Represent and its sister publication, YCteen, which is written by New York City public high school students.
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The classic film was remade for modern times, and it gets a lot of details about foster care right. (full text)
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Ricki interviews author Cris Beam about her new book, To The End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care. Beam talks about her personal interest in the topic and her conclusions about the system. (full text)
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The author is a shy and private person who’s shocked by how much her business is out in the open when she goes into care. (full text)
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The activities encourage youth to share what they wish they’d learned about sex in high school or elsewhere and to figure out what they want to keep private. (full text)
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Sharlene does everything right as she prepares to age out. But things go wrong with her housing, benefits, and college, through no fault of her own. (full text)
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The author raised her son to age 8 while she was in foster care. She's relieved when the two of them finally get their own home after she ages out. (full text)
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Selena struggles in school because of the trauma of foster care -- being abused, switching homes and schools all the time. She resists an IEP, but flourishes once she has one. (full text)
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Chefalo is a trainer and advocate who pinpoints ways that principals and teachers could use trauma-informed care to help their students in foster care. (full text)
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The author's mother beats her and leaves her alone, which she says is normal in their home country, Haiti. The author goes into care for three years. (full text)
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Erica ages out of care pregnant and has three more children. The foster care system provides her with services to help her parent better. (full text)
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Selena's early life is full of abuse and cruelty. She is adopted by a loving family at age 16 and learns about consistency, connection, and working through problems. (full text)
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This story from Youth Today examines programs that aim to help struggling families and keep kids out of care. (full text)
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N.V. is let down repeatedly by her mom, before and after she goes into care. As a teen, she realizes she'll never get the mothering she longs for. (full text)
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K.O.'s mother works nights and leaves the writer to take care of her younger siblings at age 11. This leads them into foster care. (full text)
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Trey goes into care at age 8. He never stops missing his mother and plans to sign himself out of care at 18 to reunite with her. (full text)
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A caseworker shares insights from her years working in the foster care system, including that money is crucial and that nothing can replace a good parent. (full text)
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Selena details how her socio-therapist gained her trust by listening to Selena, praising her, and not judging her for her past behaviors. (full text)
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Awilda thanks her social worker Mayra for her advocacy, her encouragement, and for going the extra mile. (full text)
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The author, born biologically male, never doubts that she's truly female. She travels from Mexico to New York and from bullied boy to confident woman. (full text)
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Selena suffers terrible abuse from an early age, then is moved to 16 different foster homes in two years. Then she finds a foster mother who sticks with her and eventually adopts her. (full text)
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Tatiana is upset at how her sister reacts when their mother's drug abuse sends them into foster care. She discovers, though, that her sister's different approach actually helps them survive. (full text)
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Mothers who had their children taken away describe how they are now helping other mothers in the same circumstances. (full text)
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Brittany assesses the parenting she got from her father and her mother and decides which things she'll take from them when she has her own children. (full text)
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Five youth advocates, ages 21-30, who were themselves in foster care, discuss how they told their own stories, learned to communicate effectively, began helping others, and their ideas for system change. (full text)
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Miguel joins youth-led advocacy group FACE (Fostering Advocacy Change and Empowerment) and finds satisfaction in helping others and sharpening his public speaking skills. (full text)
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Youth advocates in California and Oregon travel to their state capitols to lobby for improvements to those states' foster care systems. (full text)
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Jazmine interviews the Commissioner of New York's Administration for Children's Services. Commissioner Carrión talks about how to improve social-emotional well-being for youth in care, jobs, and housing. (full text)
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V.N. pinpoints five big problems she experienced in foster care. For each one, she offers suggestions for system change and suggestions for things youth can do. (full text)
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Shannon Cleary of the Morningside Heights Legal Services Clinic summarizes the Clinic's upcoming report suggesting ways to help youth aging out get housing. (full text)
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A.C. goes into care and gets put on powerful psychotropic drugs. She is sad and lonely, but not, she tells her therapist, mentally ill. (full text)
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Ashley loves her foster parents, who are generous, supportive, and open. She interviews her foster mother about raising foster teens, and how foster care could be improved. (full text)
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The Voice of Young People in Care (VOYPIC) is a group of youth and adults working to improve foster care in Belfast, Northern Ireland. In one of their projects, young people are trained to go into homes and talk privately with kids about their concerns. (full text)
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Moving to different foster homes has disrupted the writer's education, but she still manages to graduate. (full text)
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The writer goes to family court numerous times for hearings on her sexual abuse case, but is never allowed to speak in court. (full text)
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Alene describes the chaos of the waiting room at family court. Parents and children argue, and the waits are endless. (full text)
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The author keeps giving her violent, abusive mom another chance, and her mom keeps letting her down. She finally resolves to separate and move forward on her own. (full text)

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