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"If you have or had a foster family that loved you, that support is already there."

Vincent Reed shares #HisStory for #SpeakUp

"For me, the most challenging experience in the foster care system was being in 11 homes in less than 9 years while in and out of my mothers home at the same time, which meant I never had a chance to build anything worthwhile for the future. The only real foster parents that ever took the time to really get to know me lost me because I was black and they were white, unfortunately. I recently published a book outlining my personal experiences while in and out of foster care. The emotional detachment that a person like me faces is painful and hurtful to the ones that love me.

When I emancipated from the system, a strong support system and a plan for housing and future life planning is something I needed the most. Also, family planning would be great for so many of us early on.

The foster care system has really had its ups and downs for me but the one key thing I got out of it is how messed up things can really be. Not every situation is like mine but the ones that are, are the ones who need the most help.

One piece of advice that I would give to someone in the system now is to make plans for when you leave the foster care system! Having a support system in place for when you fall and need help is very important. It will lower the homelessness rate that former foster youths face."

Foster Nation