Selfless Love Foundation’s One Voice IMPAACT (OVI) is a Youth Voice Movement that helps youth develop leadership and life skills; advocates for policy changes; and promotes a network of youth leaders making a difference in child welfare today and for generations to come.
“OVI is focused on improving placement stability for youth in foster care,” shared Dr. Elizabeth Wynter, Selfless Love Foundation’s Executive Director. “Every time a youth has to be moved to another home or placement, we create another traumatic experience in that child’s life.”
Three of OVI’s youth leaders, John, Diamond & Rayla, were asked to share their stories of displacement and recommend solutions. Their foster care stories were highlighted as part of the Children’s Bureau National Foster Care Month, Reflections: Stories of Foster Care.
“I listened to the foster parent and case manager talk about me like I wasn’t there. It felt like a transaction not like someone welcoming me into their home. It left me shaking and crying” shared Diamond.
Rayla talked about living in six different homes during her four years in foster care and encouraged system leaders to give youth “voice and choice”.
John entered foster care at 13 after his mother’s death. “Initially I bounced around with different relatives, behaving vey irrationally until eventually I was sent to live in a foster home. I went to three different high schools and lived in three different foster homes, but I feel like I was fortunate to get placed with a loving foster home where I continue to live today.”
“We are so proud of John, Diamond, and Rayla for sharing their stories to improve the lives of youth in foster care today and generations to come” said Dr. Wynter.