Lisa, Eau Claire County
Believe it or not, it makes us better parents to our own children.
"My foster parents taught me so much about myself"
I was placed in a foster home when I was 15 where I chose to stay until I aged out. It was scary and extremely frustrating at times, but I have come so far. The rough, tough girl I was is gone. I grew so much and learned to trust and have confidence in myself.
My foster parents, Colleen and Dan, (with CCR for nearly 30 years) taught me so much about myself, and I am forever thankful. My case manager, Ms. Wanda, (at CCR for 24 years) almost always said something I didn’t like. LOL. But all of those things that she said really helped me shape how I want to live the rest of my life.
I knew that the best way for me to fulfill my future was to work through my past and what I went through. They all helped me do that! These three people along with many more are the main reasons why I am where I am in life, and it was the greatest gift I could have ever been given.
I was able to do my internship at Dane County Human Services and work in the Independent Living Department, doing exactly what Wanda was able to help me with. It was so cool to be able to say I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum! I just graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a bachelor’s degree in social work and a minor in Spanish. I’m SO excited to see where I end up as the young woman my foster family has helped me become today!
’Kayleigh, Juneau County, WI
My name is Julia, I was placed in a CCR foster home when I was 13 years old. I had been in foster care for most of my life, in 8 different foster homes since I was 4 years old. I was a victim of sexual abuse and was acting out all of the anger that I felt inside. I was lashing out at people, running away, stealing, experimenting with weed, and getting into trouble with the law. Even though I knew I could do better if I tried, I was really struggling in school too, not attending all of my classes and getting suspended for bad behavior. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere and that nobody wanted me or cared.
For the first 6 months, I continued to struggle and tested my foster parents, thinking they would eventually have me removed. I was verbally aggressive and defiant, slammed doors, stomped around, complained about everyone and everything. When anyone confronted me about it, I would become extremely defensive or totally shut down.
I eventually began to see that they were not giving up on me. I felt like they were willing to accept me for who I was and give me a chance and I realized that I had the ability to turn my life around if I wanted to. I also realized that I had some positive qualities that would help me to make the changes that I needed to make. I knew I was smart, I had been on the B honor roll at least once before. I made a lot of progress in the foster home by expressing my emotions in a healthy way and began to trust adults, succeed academically, and participate in typical healthy teen activities. I was also participating in therapy with my foster mom and learning to work through my feelings in healthier ways.
I was with my foster family for 4 years when they became my legal guardians!! I no longer thought of my foster parents as such, but more like my real parents. The unconditional support that they gave me allowed me to grow and be successful. After high school graduation, I attended UW-Platteville. I have remained close to my family, and know that they will always be there for me.
’Kellie, Fond du Lac County, WI
’After my sophomore year is when things really started happening for me. I felt like I was a part of something, I was starting to let my foster parents love me. My caseworker Matt (with CCR 16 years) was there for me 100 percent throughout everything. In my junior and senior years, I really just started turning things around. With CCR there is always somebody there to help you, there is always somebody there to stand by your side, to stick up for you at all times. ’My social worker Matt was always there for me.’
’John, Eau Claire County, WI.