CO4Kids blogs - A Year In Review
One of our greatest joys here at CO4Kids is sharing the stories, experiences and perspectives of young people, parents and professionals whose lives have been impacted by child welfare. Your wisdom, candor and humor help us grow and help us engage every Coloradan in strengthening families.
In no particular order, here are some of our most popular and favorite moments from the CO4Kids blogs.
Diamonds or Hearts. My name is Diamond Kobylinski. I was placed in foster care at the age of two and a half, and I was not adopted until the age of seventeen. I was in the foster care system fifteen-and-a-half years. In that time I was in 30 different placements, and I suffered every form of abuse imaginable. But, out of all of the abuse, the thing that affected me the most was not having a loving home. Read Diamond’s blog.
School's out. Is it ok for my kid to stay home alone? To help parents make the decision about whether or not to let their child stay home alone and help community members know when to call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1‑844‑264‑5437), here are some things to consider. Read Laura Solomon's blog
Colorado Foster Parents Get Real: Grief and Goodbye. “One aspect of grief with foster care is that you grieve all along the way. Kids come to you and you grieve for their loss because they’ve had to move out of their home. You grieve for what’s happened to them. There are times you grieve for the bio family and what they’re going through.” Hear from Emily and other foster parents.
Hopes for kids and teens in foster care. You are not where you came from but who you choose to be. You are amazing, strong and resilient. Use your story to change the world! Love, A former foster kid. Read messages people left for foster youth on our Facebook page.
Child welfare life changers recognized at the Colorado child welfare conference. The following child welfare life changers were recognized for their outstanding work in the field of child welfare: Molly Blain from Boulder County Housing and Human Services Department; Misty Bogle from Jefferson County Human Services Department; Marilyn Cheever from Gunnison County Department of Health and Human Services;nBrittany Gallant from Arapahoe County Human Services Department; and Samuel Stephenson from Teller County Human Services Department. Read more about each of the awardees.
The gift of adopting a teen. We give her support when she asks for it and sometimes when she does not want it. We give her the freedom to be herself and figure out what she wants today, tomorrow, next year, and 10-years from now, even if that changes with the weather. We offer a safe place for her to know she is loved no matter what, and to take a time out from the frenetic life of a teenager. We give her two people she can call her parents using whatever words she can muster. We give her protection from foes real and imagined, and listen carefully to her fears and experiences. We are her “people,” always. Read part two of Bryarly’s blog series.
We all play a role in strengthening families to help prevent child abuse and neglect. Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne and Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) staff joined community partners, county leaders and advocates to kick off National Child Abuse Prevention Month at the State Capitol. Watch the video.
LGBTQ+ Fostering and Adoption. “I remember a lot of times before we were adopting, my husband and I said ‘well how are we going to make this fit with our lives?’ Once you get that kid in your life, it doesn’t matter. Everything fits around that kid’s life, not your life. Sometimes that can be challenging, but the mornings when you wake up and your kid jumps on you and says ‘come on, let’s go play’ it’s just so amazing and so much fun.” Watch our Facebook Live conversation with Colorado parents.
What foster care has taught my sons. I asked my son what he thought about sharing his space, and toys, and parents with other kids who needed them. He immediately said that he would love to do that. Within the week he was asking any kids he saw walking alone anywhere we went if they needed a home and wanted to come home with us. We had to remind him that taking a kid off the street was called kidnapping not fostering and while we laughed at his excitement I knew how badly he wanted any child around us to feel safe and loved. Read Shannon’s blog.
100,000 miles later. I had no idea what it would really entail to love these children through their pain, that on the first of many visits, my severely traumatized four-year-old would try to grab his momma and stuff her into the van frantically saying, "Momma, come on, get in here." I would have to watch her say, "no baby I can’t go with you" and tearfully walk away. I would tearfully drive away, having personally experienced the very real pain of separation for both a momma and her children. Read Amy’s blog.
Meghan’s Wish Q&A. Every life is important – I teach my kids that – so I wanted to back that up with my own actions. To show my kids what that lesson means. It has been an amazing, difficult road. If you’re doing it right, you’re supposed to get attached. It hurts, but it’s also cool to see parents succeed. Hear from the foster mom who created a nonprofit to help kids and families.
Students spend the holidays organizing giving tree project. The Random Act of Kindness club members stepped up and gave up a lot of their free time to make sure all of the gifts went to the correct families. Students even helped to load cars through their recess time. Watch the video