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Hi everyone! My name is Emily Tao and this is my first blog ever! The other day, I was fortunate enough to meet some of Casey Family representatives and was inspired by the work that they do. I wanted to do some more research about some of their programs they are working on and found some really fascinating ideas that I would love to share with you guys.

A Declaration of Hope is basically a mission statement of goals that they would like to accomplish by the year of 2020. It presents issues and solutions to the challenging predicaments facing foster youth today. The main goal focuses on safely reducing the amount of youth that go into the foster care system by 50%. There is a lot of work that goes into this; it is far from easy, but if everyone does their part, this is very possible and can change the way foster care works nation-wide.

So, what can you do? You may be thinking how much of a difference can one person make?

The answer is everyone has potential to make a limitless amount of change. I strongly believe that everyone can play a very important role in this issue whether you are a foster youth, an advocator or even someone just interested in the foster care system. The main and most important action you can take to participate in this movement is to just spread awareness. A majority of the world are oblivious to the problems facing foster youth today. It is up to us to spread awareness, give knowledge and shed some light on the subject.

The term “foster care” already has a bad reputation. Most people when they hear the words “foster kids”, automatically think these youth are troubled delinquents. They don’t realize that these youth are victims of their own families. They are just normal kids who have had a tough time and want to be treated as normal as any other human being. It is up to us to change how everyone sees the world of foster care and to open up their minds to new perspectives.

Broadening their horizons can potentially change the way they react to foster care youth and instead of responding with pity and judgments, give their full support to this movement and change the face of foster care forever. What kind of issues is this movement targeting? It varies from place to place, from home to home and can range from child malnourishment, child abuse and mental illness to failing schools. These are only a few examples of the vast amount of problems foster children may have to deal with. All of these contribute to the trauma and stress these kids go through every day and can even scar their emotions, feelings and actions through a whole life time. It is crucial that they receive the support that they lack from their parents and families. We as a part of our community have an obligation to play a role and help these victims go through whatever issues they may be facing in their lives. What solutions is this movement working towards?

There are 4 core concepts that help establish the foundations that structure the movement of building communities of hope:

• Public community leaders must involve themselves in providing support and empowering families with the right resources so that they can make better decisions for their families and change life outcomes for the positive.

• We must constantly collect data and information with efficient tools so we can identify areas and people that are most vulnerable and need the most resources. We can then move on to help empower that community to make appropriate changes at appropriate places, appropriate times and with appropriate people.

• We must get involved in lobbying and supporting the way our federal and state governments fund different investments to direct the money in more efficient and effective ways.

• We must convince philanthropists and business owners to invest their money in the most vulnerable parts of their communities that will help nourish their lives and decision outcomes. Honestly, if the above points are something you feel like you cannot accomplish for whatever reason, you can still be an active participate in this movement. I feel that the most important thing you can do for your community is just to spread the message.

Tell your neighbors, teachers, friends, family etc. Just spreading the message so that more people are aware of what’s happening in their communities will encourage them to possibly take action and be involved in a life-changing experience.

This is something Casey Family has been working on for a long time and you can also be a part of! I encourage everyone to give their full support to this organization because in a national level, they really are doing wonders! Thank you for listening.

For more information, please visit their official website at

Jul 29, 2014 By Emily Tao