When it comes to teens and young adults in foster care, every voice matters. Utah Foster Care is proud to join Utah’s Foster Youth Advisory Board in celebrating October as Foster Youth Voice Month. In Utah, teens in foster care represent up to half of all children in foster care https://utahfostercare.org/become-a-foster-parent/the-children/.
Natalie Clark spent six years in Utah’s foster care system, before graduating from the University of Utah with a social work degree. She now works to help other young people navigate what can be a tough transition into adulthood. She tells them every voice matters.
“It’s not what you’ve been through in your life that defines who you are – it’s how you got through it that has made you the person you are today,” she says. “Sometimes, you have to get knocked down lower than you’ve ever been, to stand up taller than you ever were.”
Katelyn Stark is president of the advisory board and says it’s easy for youth to lose their voice while in foster care.
“The expectations set for youth sometimes seem impossible. If you don’t meet those expectations, or show signs that you aren’t okay, then you are labeled as delinquent, troubled, damaged, or broken,” says Katelyn. “Using my voice is the reason I am no longer in a household that is broken.” If you’d like to ‘listen’ to more of Katelyn’s story, check out her blog, courtesy of the Selfless Love Foundation.
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