FCAA and Casey Family Programs: Partners Together
The history of Foster Care Alumni of America is closely tied to the history of the national alumni movement. Both were inspired by the vision and generous support of Casey Family Programs.
In 1999, Casey Family Programs began extensive interviews with over 1800 alumni of the foster care system from across the country for the National Alumni Studies. As researchers talked with alumni, they heard over and over "I want to do something to improve foster care. How can I get involved?" Recognizing that alumni brought passion, insight, and expertise that could only be gained by living in foster care, Casey Family Programs created an Alumni Relations department in 2000.
During its first two years, the Alumni Relations department made connections with 1400 alumni from all over the United States. The department found that alumni were active in work on behalf of people in and from foster care in various ways: foster parents, kinship caregivers and adoptive parents; social workers, researchers, legal professionals and advocates. Alumni were participating in foster care program development, legislative advocacy, training for care providers and professionals and speaking publicly about their experiences.
With generous support from Casey, alumni began to meet one another and work together. From our first meetings, we found incredible strength in each other - a feeling of belonging and kinship that so many of us had grown up without ever knowing. We discovered that we share a culture - the culture of foster care - that gives us an understanding of each other across the ages, across geography, across ethnicities. Our shared culture and experiences form the basis for a community of alumni with a common voice.
Casey Family Programs listened to our voices and responded to our needs. In 2004 Casey Family Programs made a significant investment in the alumni movement by generously supporting the creation of FCAA. Since that time, Casey has continued to invest in our mission and work, helping us to build an organization that will be a constant source of support, information, inspiration, and action into the future.
Casey Family Programs has been a true partner in shaping our movement of foster care alumni. We are grateful for their vision and commitment, for their willingness to listen and respond, and for ultimately believing that in the end, we are all in this together.
Casey Family Programs, whose mission is to provide, improve – and ultimately prevent the need for - foster care, is proud to be the Founding Member of Foster Care Alumni of America. For more information visit www.casey.org.