PAFCAF member, Fostering Great Ideas (FGI), has found success in listening to the needs of those they serve and hiring those who have lived through the journey of foster care.
“We believe the best way to grow as an entrepreneurial place of change is to listen to those who have lived in foster care,” says FGI CEO, David White. “So, we listen, and then we hire! It's that simple. For those of us who have not been in care, we are blessed to work alongside as allies of system reform.”
After working many years in the corporate world, White found his passion working for nonprofit, child welfare organizations. Working at organizations that offer child welfare services opened his eyes to the improvements that could be made to the system.
FGI provides programs to improve the experiences for children in foster care throughout the state of South Carolina. A look at their “Journey through foster care,” map shows how their programs impact children making their way through South Carolina’s system of care.
FGI has programs designed for every facet of the child welfare system: from recruiting potential foster parents, to training and educating current foster parents, to supporting birth-parents who have lost custody of their children, and offering mentorship and support for children in foster care.
FGI has also designed programs aimed at opening the eyes of people in the community to the experience of foster care. One program, called Life in Limbo, simulates a child’s journey through foster care for community participants. Many of the participants have little to no connection to the foster care system before going through the simulation.
“We are all part of the solution if we become part of the system,” White says of the Life in Limbo program.
Life in Limbo may have the largest nation-wide reach of all the programs offered by FGI. It has been implemented in 10 states and Guatemala.
FGI also has a policy arm, called Speak Up, that is aimed at grassroots, statewide advocacy and reform of the child welfare system.
Collectively, FGI’s programs have had a significant influence on the child welfare system in South Carolina through their unique attentiveness to those that they serve in the foster care system. As a member of PAFCAF, White says FGI has greatly benefited from their membership in the organization which offers support and guidance as well as statewide advocacy for the system of care.
“FGI has loved PAFCAF's incredible responsiveness to our needs at understanding policy, system design, and system constraints,” White says. “We have also greatly appreciated the camaraderie of members, welcoming our ‘unusual’ concepts into their much larger systems of care. PAFCAF wants us to succeed in our mission: improving the lives of children as they struggle in foster care.”
To learn more about Fostering Great Ideas, visit their website.
About Fostering Great Ideas
FGI’s mission is to improve outcomes for children in foster care. We implement great ideas and advocate for system-wide improvement with our partners.