This Ted Talk by a former foster youth, Athena Garcia-Gunn is incredibly insightful and informative. The video provides an intimate look into the life of a foster youth, as well as the struggles they face. Additionally, the speaker offers helpful tips on how to be a better advocate and mentor for foster youth.
Garcia-Gunn shares that when she was 7 her mother died during childbirth. The death contributed to her father's alcohol and drug addiction, leaving Athena and her siblings without proper care for much of their childhood. She was sexually abused by neighbors, and despite reports to authorities, the abuse went on for years. While she wasn't grateful for the foster care system, she recognizes it was an improvement from her biological home life. Unfortunately, the trauma left her hypervigilant and in a constant fight or flight mode. She says, "in order to cope with my life before care, I had to dissociate completely. I was very technical and strategic about everything because I was in survival mode." She shares that she was ready to run at all times and pushed people away in order to not feel vulnerable. I feel like this so adequately describes so many of our kids.
This video is worth the watch for anyone interested in supporting foster youth.
I'm a foster mom, bio mom, working mom, special needs mom, busy mom. I'm also married to my high school sweetheart, I'm a proud 23-year childhood cancer survivor, and I'm passionate about serving my community.
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