Today in our blog we share the poignant story and audio from NPR about Noel Anaya, a 21-year old California youth who was in foster care nearly his entire life and is now aging out of the system.
Anaya received a unique opportunity to record his court proceeding and discuss his experience in the foster care system.
Like many of the children we serve in our residential homes, Noel hoped one day to be adopted by a foster family, but unfortunately it never happened.
Group homes such as those at Carolina Youth Development Center (CYDC) are designed to be a temporary shelter and caring support system for a child until they can either be safely reunited with a family member or adopted by a foster family.
As Anaya notes in the proceeding, this is what would happen in an ideal world, but the truth is that many foster children will never be adopted.
In 2014, there were 3,461 children in the foster care system in South Carolina, and 24 percent of them lived in group homes.
While CYDC serves children who are eventually reunited with family or are adopted into a foster home, we also have children and sibling groups who stay with us for two years or longer.
This is why in addition to providing a nurturing and caring environment, we also offer our children academic support, mentoring, and life skills and job readiness training.
Most importantly, we arrange fun outings where our kids can just be kids; whether it’s trips to Charleston Fun Park for mini golf, go carts and arcade games, or tickets to a South Carolina Stingrays hockey game or Charleston Battery soccer match.
For over 226 years, CYDC has served Lowcountry young people removed from the home for abuse, neglect and parental abandonment. With compassion for the children and youth we serve, we continue to develop programs to best meet the urgent needs like those faced by the young man featured in this piece.
Click the link below to read or listen to Anaya’s moving statement on his life in the foster care system.