In this pilot episode of the Foster Movement Podcast, we visited with former foster youth, Jessica Francis. Jessica entered foster care at 12 and aged out before going to college. You’ll hear her amazing story of persisting through college as a single mom, her time as a caseworker for the state and how she now uses her experience to step into the lives of youth who are aging out so that they have the connection to mentors that she never had.
We are then joined by author and adoptive mom, Pam Parish, who is the Founder and President of Connections Homes out of Atlanta. Connections Homes helps followers of Christ provide trusted relationships for young adults who have aged out of foster care. She shares practical tips on beginning this same kind of inspiring and vital work in your church and community.
Download the free companion PDF to this series—“Seven Insights about Foster Care from Those Who’ve Been There”–and share these types of insights with others in your community!
“I had to figure out a lot of things on my own. I tell people at times I feel like Google was my advisor or mentor, support person, because I didn’t have that one stable person there that I could always talk to.”
Jessica Francis, Former Foster Youth
Here are the resources and/or organizations mentioned in this episode:
Connections Homes, Atlanta, GA (Pam Parish): connectionshomes.org
The Thru Project, San Antonio, TX (Jessica Francis): thruproject.org
Free Download: Seven Insights about Foster Care from Those Who’ve Been There
Meet Our Guests
From the age of 13-18, Jessica was placed with a foster family until aging out of the system. Observing the different paths to adulthood that her brother and sister have taken, Jessica has valuable insight that she now enjoys sharing with current foster care youth. A native of San Antonio, Jessica is a graduate of UTSA, with a BA in Criminal Justice and is currently embarking upon her Master’s Degree in Kinesiology. Once a case worker with Child Protective Services, Jessica now serves as the Program Administrator of the THRU Project.
Follower of Jesus Christ. Wife of the most handsome man on the planet for 24 years and counting. Mom of eight incredibly beautiful and amazing young women. Nana to four spunky grandchildren. Foster Care and Adoption Advocate. Author of the Ready or Not Devotional series for foster and adoptive families. Founder and President of Connections Homes, an Atlanta-based organization working with young adults who’ve aged out of foster care, are homeless or otherwise without family.
Meet Our Hosts
Jason and his wife, Trisha, have been caring for children from U.S. foster care since 2001 and have had the privilege of adopting their five children from foster care. Jason has helped to produce and write several books, bible studies, and other tools all created to serve churches as they care for hurting kids including the newly released children’s book, Farmer Herman and the Flooding Barn (BroadStreet Publishing). Jason writes a regular column for Fostering Families Today magazine and is the host of the Foster Movement Podcast, which highlights the stories of former foster youth and national foster care advocates. Jason serves as the National Director of More Than Enough for the Christian Alliance for Orphans and currently lives in Plano, Texas.
Most teenagers remember the day they got their license, or their sweet 16, or even prom night. For Diego the most prominent day he remembers is In 2002, when he showed up on Bishop Aaron Blake’s steps. Blake stopped Diego at the door and told him to lose any foster care mentality that he has. “You are not a foster child; you are ‘Engrafted’ into my family.” Diego, now a national recording artist, released his second studio album titled “ENGRAFTED” in 2014! Diego is the founder & president of B.I.G Records & Foundation. He and his “Pops,” Bishop Aaron Blake have joined forces and travel the country empowering the local church to create a culture of families prepared to accept the calling of orphan care. Diego lives with his family in the Dallas area.