Save SOS - Tyler's Story

Hundreds of youth are touched each month as survival kits, as well as bagged meals are distributed. Loss of the SOS program means that there will be no clear way to provide critical services to homeless and runaway youth (RHY). Nightly, over the last 17 years, the SOS team took to the streets to find and talk to 11-21 year old homeless and runaway youth to get them off the streets and into safe housing. Last year over 200 youth were moved into stable housing. SOS also runs several Drop-In Centers in the area to give RHY a safe place to get a meal, talk to others and get counseling.

In order to continue the critical services that this outreach program provides, Fresno EOC is launching a fundraising campaign, #SaveSOS, to raise $200,000 to fund and sustain the program through 2016. The fundraiser will run during the month of November, which is National Runaway Prevention Month. SOS is looking to community members to “sponsor” a youth for $1,000. Information about the fundraiser can be found on the Fresno EOC website at

Lindsey’s Story: Suicide Prevention Month

We are observing National Suicide Prevention Month in order to help educate the public on the prevalence of suicide and how we as a society can recognize the signs of a person contemplating suicide. Suicide has touched all of us. We all have a story that has affected us. A member of our staff shared his in order to help others: To read more on this story via CLICK HERE.

You don't age out of family

I will never forget my twelfth birthday - on that day, my social worker appeared at my foster home with two trash bags and announced that I was moving. She handed me the bags and said, "You need to pack your things."
My things. I was hurt because not only did she hand me trash bags, she didn't even volunteer to help me pack. More than that, I did not own enough things to fill two trash bags. I had no idea why I was moving or where I was going.
It was then that I knew what it meant to be a foster child. It meant I was not worth the time it takes to explain what's going on; I was not worth owning a real suitcase. That day, I hardened my heart, and carried feelings of worthlessness with me for many years after. I spent eleven years in North Carolina's foster care system, moving more than a dozen times during this period.
I had a unique transition from foster care -- I left the system at age twenty-one; but my last foster mother had been so amazing that I could not fathom the thought of life without her. She was the best mother anyone could ask for. She went to all my games and held parties for my senior prom and high school graduation. She adopted me when I was twenty-three years old. Today, I look at her and feel so blessed.
I still wish that I had had a stable family when I was growing up. Foster children get used to changing schools often, but if I had a family, I would have never had to leave the school I loved and all my friends. After I left that school, I attended three others. When I finally returned my senior year, I had been gone so long my friends did not even recognize me. I had to work extra hard to make friends again.
I am one of the lucky ones. Now that I have a family of my own, I do not worry as much about the things such as where my next meal is coming from, where I will sleep tonight, and other things that most youths take for granted. Having a family is something I would like to share with other foster youth.
As an author and advocate for foster care reform, Julia speaks powerfully about her experiences in foster care and the need for change. Learn more about Julia
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Story Via

Assaulted S.C. Student Is A Recent Orphan Living In Foster Care, Attorney Says

The attorney for a 16-year-old student who was thrown across a classroom during an arrest says the officer should be jailed for his actions.
Attorney Todd Rutherford said Wednesday that the girl went to the hospital Monday night and has a cast on her arm and has complained of neck, back and psychological injuries.
In an interview with the New York Daily News, Rutherford also said that the student is a recent orphan who lost her mother and is currently living in a foster home. "While her identity, no doubt, will eventually be leaked to the media, it's the goal of her foster mother to protect and care for her as well as she can considering the circumstances," the Daily News' Shaun King wrote.  To read more on this story CLICK HERE.

Red Ribbon Week awareness event takes place......

(NEWS CENTER) --This week people across the country are taking part in Red Ribbon Week a national campaign to raise awareness about drug use and its effects. The Penobscot Job Corps kicked off its own event in Bangor on Tuesday.
Students took part in a walking candlelight vigil around the school.
This is just one of the activities in an effort to raise awareness about the problems associated with drugs and alcohol. To read more about this story CLICK HERE.

Say No to Drugs (Cartoons for Kids) Red Ribbon Week (Educational Videos for Students Network) (CN)

Say No to Drugs (Cartoons for Kids) Red Ribbon Week (Educational Videos for Students Network) (CN) - Sometimes trying to fit in can be hard but when it involves using drugs that is a problem. Watch this cartoon from Welcome to FresBerg as Bernard talks about a problem his friend may have and one of the role models from the neighborhood Big Juicy gives him a little advice on Welcome to FresBerg.

Take the Red Ribbon Pledge .....

Take the Red Ribbon Pledge now and be a part of the creation of a drug free America.

What's the Pledge about?

  1. As parents and citizens, we will talk to our children and the children in our lives about the dangers of drug abuse.
  2. We will set clear rules for our children about not using drugs.
  3. We will set a good example for our children by not using illegal drugs or medicine without a prescription.
  4. We will monitor our children's behavior and enforce appropriate consequences, so that our rules are respected.
  5. We will encourage family and friends to follow the same guidelines to keep children safe from substance abuse.
To take the pledge CLICK HERE.

Dream Council Meeting November 21, 2015 Calhoun Co......

Each month we are focusing on a theme across the state; with our reoccurring themes being Human Trafficking and Sexting (Social Media Safety).  We have designated November as our Community Service Month. We are challenging each county, with ILP youth, to participate in a community service project. This will be the perfect chance for our youth to give back to the communities that give so much to them. We challenge you to this task and  want to recognize your youth’s good deeds at the meeting. Please post your community service projects on – where you will find all of our social media links( FB/Instagram). We will also celebrate November Birthdays at this meeting.

Also, do not  forget, the Social Worker with the most youth wins a wonderful surprise…just ask Jamie Benson, from Chilton County- I think she is still smiling.

Chilton Co. Dream Council Recap.....

CAS will like to thank Chilton County on hosting our kick off DREAM meeting for this fiscal year. Everyone represented their favorite team in some shape, form, or fashion (WAR EAGLE). This year our theme is Transforming Our Youth. At this meeting, we had a speaker from The Wellness Group Jeremy Smith to speak about sexting and internet safety. We also viewed a CNN film on “Children for Sale”, which deals with the seriousness of Human Trafficking. Jamie Benson, a social worker for Chilton County, won a wonderful prize for having the most youth to attend! Remember every meeting we will have a prize to the county’s social worker that has the most youth to participate. Our next meeting will be November 21, 2015 in Calhoun County. To contact Jeremy Smith contact The Wellness Group at 808 Lay Dam Road, Clanton, Al 35045 205-280-7733.



                                                                  JAMIE BENSON

We want to thank Jamie Benson and the Chilton Co. DHR for hosting the Dream Council Kick Off and bringing the most youth participants to the event.  For this reason she was awarded with a gift certificate. Every month we will reward the social worker that brings the most participants to the Dream Council meetings. Don't miss the next one, we will have details coming soon.

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