One of the first homes was the worst one. I lived with them for the rest of my childhood, but I spent every Sunday at Momma’s. They’d make jokes or just comments about how I was a moody and mopey person. One night I woke around 2 in the morning feeling like something was off. Plus, they had 3 kids of their own. I am strong and fiercely independent. I got beat up regularly, kids would ruin my school supplies, teachers would turn a blind eye, other parents wouldn’t even look at me, etc. I have an awesome best friend whose mom begs me to come for holidays, but I usually choose to work because it just feels weird. I don’t want to go into detail, but it was awful. After class, I told the teacher I was hungry and the group home had no food. The third and final foster care was the best one out there. Former CEO of Genesis Group Homes asked the judge for help. My grandparents weren’t bad and my foster home wasn’t bad but being pulled out of a loving home, the only home I knew, was terrible. People Share Dark Family Secrets That Made Them Say ‘It All Makes Sense Now’, People Share The Dire Warnings Their Parents Passed Down That End Up Being Completely Untrue. Everyone called her Cookie cause that’s what she told everyone her name was. I was not allowed to go to school. I couldn’t defend myself from that incident despite being older because if I even touched my foster parents’ “little princess” I’d be refused food and sleep. I begged her to leave and go to the hospital. How many kept their souls bottled up until they felt safe enough to express their grief? My biological mom eventually surrendered custody when I was seven, after five years of legal battles, because she was pregnant with another child. None of my previous families were religious, so this really freaked me out. I didn't believe them so I kept losing weight. The staff rang her an ambulance and I went upstairs cleaned up as best I could and went to bed. Foster care is arguably one of the most broken systems in our country. However, some have been able to find the courage to open up about the worst of what they endured. Or both. My bedroom was in a barn outside the house, despite the fact that there were two spare rooms in the house. The autopsy said he died of natural causes. They took some of the residents to their huge church once and we sat up in the balcony, trying not to fidget after a breakfast of pancakes. Many of these children have been silenced about the traumas they’ve suffered at the hands of neglectful caseworkers and horrible foster parents. I just remember lots of fake smiles from them at first. I saw many “firsts” here. When I was in foster care both me and my little sister were beat up by other foster kids and biological children to the multiple foster parents we stayed under. Needless to say, Punishment Level had no privileges. But my biological mom fought it… for five years. I put my head down and cried. We rode in a white van to all our outings, and the name of the home was inscribed on the side so that everywhere we went, people stared and whispered as we got out. She refused to go. Oftentimes, foster kids end up in homes that neglect their basic needs, deny them love, and reject their humanity. However, when I started in school my then teacher took me in. Later that week, Cupcake Girl told me I was nasty and stank so bad no one could stand me. 7 Days. I’m happy I was able to get out. So, I stayed with her, bandaged up her arms as best I could using my t-shirt, and just mended her for the rest of the night until I finally convinced her to come back to the home. 1 talking about this. 5) I got lice at school and instead of the family spending money on lice remover, they used Lysol drain cleaner on my head. I discovered foster care when I was four. kfsn. Sensing some shady energy from the guy, she took the bag back. You got in by either being taken into foster care and placed there, or you broke the law so many times that a Florida judge made you a resident at Arnette for rehabilitation. I went into foster care around 4 years old with my sister who was 5. We went without groceries for three weeks because of employee embezzlement, so I only ate free lunch from school and nothing on weekends. I lived with other members of my family for a few years. Some of us had KP duty, cleaning up the mounds of dishes and pots and pans before heading off to one activity or another or just back to our rooms to dream, write letters, cut or dye our hair, or play our radios too loud. Like, nobody knew where she went. Kelly, Jackie (another resident) and I started hanging out together. While I was there I developed anorexia to get my mom's attention, hoping that if I starved myself she'd let me come home, but all it did was land me in the hospital for two months, and I went back to the children's home as a bully. Cindy was my savior, my God, my confidante. 1) To watch TV, I had to sit on the dining room floor and couldn’t sit with the family over in the living room and if I crossed the line from the linoleum to the carpet, I’d be locked in my room without dinner. I have endless stories, but these are just a few. So, here is my list of questions to ask and things to look for: The first night, a while after I finally fell asleep, I woke up and had to pee. A group home for teenage girls can apply to several different types of teen help programs. There was a whole lot that I try not to remember, but the short end of the stick is my foster parents clearly had no intention of showing me any kind of love. She was into anime and came to school cosplaying every once in a while. Each youth below experienced foster care and shared their #fosteryouthvoice in order to inspire, advocate, connect to other foster youth and to show that their voice can make a difference. I was so young, but some memories will never leave. The moment I stepped into a group home when I was 12, I felt like it was a mistake. I’m going to keep this short, but I have vivid memories of the grandmother basically dragging me by one arm on multiple occasions up and down these huge stairs when no one else was home. Child Protective Services in New York City strongly supported her gaining legal custody of me. Also, being unsure about everything having an unstable mom didn’t really help either. The school instituted a rule stopping kids from sharing their food because of me. Instead, I had to do all the housework for the parents and their three bratty kids. It was quite clear that my foster mother hated me the moment I arrived. Really sucked knowing they didn’t want me around and even sadder, the state was fine with it. The school I worked at put on a special Christmas party just for our foster kids, privately and confidentially, at a counselor’s big house. I’ve tried talking to the social workers there, but they just didn’t take it seriously. After the first few months in the foster home, I was not allowed to take any food to school. I kind of forgot about her for a couple of years, and then I have one of those moments where a random thing hits you out of nowhere. I ask some friends and they tell me all the horror stories about the awful things her family did to her. Michael Elkins is the administrator for an adult group home in Stockton, Calif. I went to live with my Momma (her name) when I was 10 months old. I was not part of the foster care system, but I live next to a foster home for minorities and mentally disabled kids, I can see everything happening in their backyard from my windows. I had my own opinions. My first foster home when I was six years old was filled with church nuts. It kept me sane in an insane time, breathing, living, hoping as I told myself I was different from "them," from all the other residents who did or did not have parents. I remember she also didn’t speak English well but told me she was my mom after two days of knowing her. The dad didn’t really care for me, and I couldn’t believe that I would never see my parents again. I was locked in a pantry for a day or so when I (six years old) misbehaved. From then on it was group home after group home and foster home after foster home. Group home, congregate living. My aunt took me in and wanted to adopt me (she’s amazing). He told me to pack everything up. Another time my roommate, Melody, caught me reading her diary and told everyone about it. When I came out with all my things packed, the social worker said that Momma’s adoption process had been stalled and he found family members for me to live with. How many others traveled through those halls since me? The rest of us were telling him “dude, they’re keeping you”. It was a trashy home with a mom, dad, and two brothers. I was taking a nap in my room when one of the other foster kids took scalding hot water and poured it into my ear. The stories are written by the youth, for the youth. Granted, I was misbehaving at the time, but Jesus Christ, it took me years to get over that. Terri Rimmer shares stories from her time in a group home for teens. This girl, who didn’t know better, dragged me about 14 feet and none of her older siblings or my foster mom did anything about it. That’s only one of so many stories I have. Community agencies provide different residential accommodations that help people with a developmental disability. My Home Ec teacher did a fundraiser and sold cupcakes during class, and a girl at my table bought three. They told me to pack a bag and that they were taking me to the county’s emergency foster care house. I was threatened often and not fed properly. I live in Canada and I don’t know if other places have this, but we something called “respite”. From there we went to the second foster care. I remember being in respite one time when I was living with my aunt and the lady that took me in was absolutely heartless. Where do you go for holidays? My foster parents had an inflatable pool in their backyard, and one day it popped or something randomly. Washington state has been sued multiple times for millions of dollars since that time with no signs of things improving. I’m deaf in that ear as a result of it. My whole childhood I remember just begging for meal vouchers (good for 5$ at McDonald’s or subway) or a warm bed to sleep in for just a night and being ignored. I feel that’s important to note. Every time you accomplish something, no one is there to cheer you on. Some of their stories are almost unbelievably cruel, but they aren’t fictional. Learn what it's like for kids in a group home as she describes her experiences. It was a woman who took in kids who needed to go somewhere on short notice. I was eventually convinced that going against my parents is the worst thing a child can do, so I lied for them. It was full of insects, spiders, and even a snake. Despite dozens of specialists, caseworkers, and doctors testifying that my biological mom was a danger to me, the state of New York refused to give my aunt full custody. I was baptized against my will, and had a nursery rhyme book that was censored (the book described an old woman in a shoe who “whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed”, but “whipped” was crossed out and replaced with “kissed”). News Video They looked after myself and my 2 sisters like we were their own. The concept has become almost a dirty word. All these years and I could never write about any of this, like a dark secret hidden away underneath a bunch of memories you'd rather forget. Teachers, kids, anyone. There are some short-term programs that help teens by getting them out of their current lives and into a program that prepares them for change. How many went on to lead "productive" lives? I became a crown ward within the system at a young age, essentially was that the government was my ‘legal guardian’. The woman wasn’t always too nice to me though. I have never had a home to call my own or for that matter a family. We get a knock on the door and it was my dad and his new girlfriend there to pick us up for good! He stuck his finger in the kid’s gift bag, looked in, and inquired about what they got. The foster parents were terrible. I stumbled across her Instagram on accident a while back. One of my teacher friends was taking some of the kids home that evening and one foster dad was standing at the front gate waiting. When he went back, that's when the horror story began." One time one of the teenage residents and I painted a deck bright red, earning some money in the summer sun that beat down on our backs as we later argued about who did what and how much. The first time I saw Eve she didn’t speak but had that telltale haunted look most of the girls had. Oh, and the best part: The system told me to suck it up because I could get worse people. The mother and daughter had very high-school-mean-girl personalities. After a horribly neglectful and abusive childhood, they taught us what it was like to be loved, respected and gave us morals. For an entire year, I wasn’t allowed to sit on the couch. Learn more about what it is like to be in foster care from these real stories. I kept all the letters, my sister, Cindy, wrote me. I no longer live there, but my parents still do. Aging out is the hardest. Orabelle had been there 10 years, and she was 17. His mother said she’ll never know what happened to her son, a 33-year-old man with developmental disabilities. We never asked one another "Why are you here?" She came to visit me too, although I only remember my mom visiting once or twice. I was a pawn for the mother who was netting money to a side piece. Prior to that, my lunchbox was a bread bag. In my foster home, I had to bathe with the other foster kids at the same time. 4) One family would punish us by having us hold our arms out and would be disciplined with a stick if our arms dropped. It was like a light had been shut off in my Momma. Getting taken away, rightfully so, from abusive parents only to end up as a means of income for other abusive adults is hard. Imagine, you've heard the worst foster care horror stories on the news, and now you've been dropped into a foster home -- alone. Now she’s living with a sugar daddy who treats her awfully but gives her a place to live. It was cold and wet 9 months out of the year. And the first time he got in some kind of trouble he basically said, “that’s that then, see you later, they won’t keep me”. The daughters also called us slaves “jokingly”. From hitting me to calling me names; all that fun stuff. I don't remember if they told me the name ahead of time, but I remember the huge sign that read Elks-Aidmore Children's Home. because we didn't have to. Not knowing if I belonged or that anyone ever truly wanted me or loved me messed me up for the longest time, I would go as far as say even today. It is really sad and horrifying. Girls would constantly steal anything nice I got. The first one was horrible, the girl living there was a few years older. I said, slowly turning her way. It was owned by the local Elks Lodge, and a big, booming man named Milton oversaw the large staff who supervised us for better or worse. There were only a few other kids there, one whom I actually knew from school so that was kind of nice. I was given up by a single mom, which carries a very negative stigma in Korean society. We turned our passions and anger inward, and some of us turned them outward in the form of acting out, being creative, or simply surviving. Terri Rimmer shares stories from her time in a group home for teens. The large dining room seated young girls on long wooden benches as we passed bowls of food to one another on a long brown table. "That s--- burns doesn't it?" The views and opinions expressed in the Real Stories are Wonderful family of mom, dad, two sons and daughter (if I remember correctly)? Their tales give us a true glimpse into the horrors of the foster care system. You also trust abusive/toxic people very easily. Group homes may offer specific services targeted to a specific population of children or a range of services depending on the design of their program. Shoplifting loaves of bread and packs of bologna from the store eventually struck a chord in somebody’s conscience. I was taken out of my parent’s home because both of my parents were abusive. I was rarely allowed to shower. I was shocked. I caught pneumonia twice in one month because my foster parents decided a new sports car was more important than heaters or thick winter coats. For Christmas, another family made us watch their kids get awesome presents while my sister and I got their secondhand clothes as gifts. I remember being 18 and crying my eyes out because I thought I could be arrested for not being able to pay my electric bill or just bills in general. It was written in fancy blue scroll against a white backdrop, and there was uncut grass behind it as we rounded the curve. There is often a set of fancy, clean clothes that are never to be touched unless a social worker visits. They told me she left, they couldn’t stop her, they couldn’t leave to find her all they could do was ring the police. Stay there long t take it names ; all that fun stuff foster care when we were their own hang. 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