Art in Action
Mr. No Name
Trash, that’s all you are, all you’ll be.
Ash, burnt away, like every memory.
Crash, shattered under foot, ‘till this day.
Rash, no one wants you, all they say.
Jim Theofelis’s vision when he founded The Mockingbird Society — to create a world-class foster care system — has come closer to reality over the course of his time as Executive Director. He, along with many staff and countless youth, has taken that dream and created an entity to combat the issues that foster youth face. Over time the organization has grown and evolved to take on the responsibility of advocating for youth and young adults who experience homelessness as well as the rights of foster youth.
It’s amazing to me that fifteen years ago we published the very first Mockingbird Times and I wrote my very first Letter from the Editor. In April 2001, three young people and I launched The Mockingbird Society with the vision to develop an advocacy-based organization dedicated to improving the current and future lives of the children, youth and families involved in foster care and/or experiencing homelessness.
Power of One
Since joining Mockingbird, I’ve had the opportunity to see many sides of foster care. One thing in particular that I’ve noticed is that many kids either are not aware of who is their social worker, or they haven’t developed a positive relationship with them.
My experience was an anomaly.
Did you know that in the United Kingdom, social services are working on changing the way they deliver foster care? The UK decided that implementing the Mockingbird Family Model will ultimately reform areas that hinder systematic growth of the fostering system. There are concerns with the retention rates of foster parents (called “foster carers” in the UK), foster youth placements and stability, as well as the lack of relationships between social workers and families, which is negatively affecting the outcomes of all who are involved.
Pay It Forward
A movie called Know How is going to be coming out in May in celebration of Foster Care Awareness Month. It premieres in theatres on May 15th, and will be televised nationally on Pivot TV May 27th at 8 pm. Know How covers major issues that many youth in foster care face such as a lack of options, healthy coping mechanisms, abuse, suicide, and self-harm.