PIX11's Ojinika Obiekwe sat down with writer and activist Regina Louise and got a firsthand account of her story, which comes to Lifetime with tonight's premiere of the film, "I Am Somebody's Child."
The film tells Louise's personal experience as a black girl born into foster care in the 1960s.
Louise navigated over 30 foster homes and psychiatric facilities as a child until one woman believed in her and attempted to adopt her. Due to a racially motivated ruling, the woman was unable to adopt Louise, and their bond was forced apart.
"I Am Somebody’s Child" explores foster care, adoption and the need for all young people to have a home and opportunities to thrive.
These organizations provide information and related resources:
Dave Thomas Foundation
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is the only public nonprofit charity in the United States that is focused exclusively on foster care adoption. Through its signature program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids®, the Foundation gives funds and provides training to adoption agencies in the U.S. and Canada. View the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption guide and visit davethomasfoundation.org/give to find out how you can give back.
You Gotta Believe
You Gotta Believe is one of a precious few organizations in the U.S and the only organization in the New York City Metro area that limits its practice to finding permanent parents and families for young adults, teens, and pre-teens in the foster care system. YGB envisions a day when no child is asked to face adulthood alone, when every child aging out of foster care is connected to an unconditionally committed, loving permanent family. Visit www.yougottabelieve.org to find many resources about adopting teens and to learn about You Gotta Believe’s youth-centered model.
"I Am Somebody's Child" is based on the personal experiences of Regina Louise, a former foster child who survived thirty failed foster home placements. Today, Regina Louise is a trauma-informed trainer and coach, and she teaches with the Hoffman Institute. As an advocate, she travels the country speaking out on the importance of empowerment, and choice, trustworthiness and agency on behalf of foster youth. She has learned to identify practice strategies such as writing, storytelling and restorative justice to instigate awareness and cultural proficiency in healing trauma. For more information go to iamreginalouise.com.
CHAMPS: Children Need Amazing Parents
Caring foster parents can be game-changers for children and their families. CHAMPS (Children Need Amazing Parents) is a national campaign to ensure bright futures for kids in foster care by promoting the highest quality parenting and strengthening policies and programs to support foster parents. Learn how you can help at fosteringchamps.org.
Better Youth, Inc.
We are a creative youth development organization. We validate young people by developing life skills through mentoring and media arts training. We utilize community and school-based learning environments to develop, enhance and certify the soft and technical skills of foster, homeless and low-income youth. Our vision is to activate a community of youth who are equipped for personal and professional success. Learn more at http://betteryouth.org.
Seneca Family of Agencies
Seneca Family of Agencies is a non-profit organization with services in California and Washington State. It was founded in 1985 by advocates who wanted to improve support for children in group homes and foster family care. Seneca is known as an innovative leader in providing Unconditional Care; it offers a comprehensive range of services for children and families who have experienced high levels of trauma and are at risk for family disruption or institutional placement of the children. Seneca believes that kids aren’t failing the system, the system is failing kids. Learn more at www.senecafoa.org.
The National Foster Parent Association
The National Foster Parent Association (NFPA) is a non-profit organization established in 1972 to address the concerns of several independent groups of foster parents and child welfare professionals to provide foster families with opportunities for advocacy, networking, and education. Visit www.nfpaonline.org to learn about the organization’s vision and resources.
The vision of Promise House is that every youth has a safe and nurturing place to call home. Since our founding, we have dramatically expanded our programming to include crisis intervention, transitional housing, pregnant and parenting teen services, counseling, education, and outreach to neglected, abused, and at-risk youth ages 0-24. Visit our website online to learn more about these programs. https://promisehouse.org
Child and Family Policy Institute of California
The Child and Family Policy Institute of California is a private, non-profit organization, incorporated as a 501 ( c ) 3 entity in 2004 to advance the development of sound public policy and promote program excellence for safe and stable families living in supportive communities, through research, advocacy, training, consultation and technical assistance. Since its inception, CFPIC has supported public human service agencies in meeting the needs of vulnerable children, families and adults. Visit http://www.cfpic.org/ to learn more.
The Administration for Children’s Services: NYC
The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) protects and promotes the safety and well-being of New York City’s children and families by providing child welfare, juvenile justice, and early care and education services. We continue to make strides in our work to protect children, strengthen and support families, and keep families together. While nationally the number of young people in foster care has steadily increased over the last few years, today, there are fewer than 8,500 children in foster care in New York City – down from nearly 50,000 in the 1990s and more than 16,000 just a decade ago. Learn more at nyc.gov/acs.