Creating a Community Village for Youth in Foster Care

Miriam_Portrait_Smile2.jpgOn the last day of National Foster Care Month, discover what makes the Peace4Kids' formula for success so unique and valuable for youth in foster care.

We’ve all heard the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child." The concept is an important tool for ensuring that children grow up feeling deeply rooted in the love and values that anchor their family and community.

But what happens to children who grow up without their family or community to serve as their village? This was the question that Peace4Kids sought to answer over 20 years ago. Our answer gave birth to a new proverb, “You’re born to relatives but you choose your family.” This is the Peace4Kids way. Our approach is what makes Peace4Kids different from other agencies that serve youth in foster care. We believe that youth in care can experience greatness because of the traumas they’ve endured, not despite them.

Creating a Community Village for Youth in Foster Care


Of course, there are the physiological and behavioral developments that impact youth with trauma. We do not ignore the emerging science around the impact that trauma has on the brain. It can have a debilitating effect on a child’s development and their lifelong outcomes. However, there are many stories of people who have successfully overcome their painful past. At Peace4Kids we have sought to aggregate these stories to uplift the specific tools that youth in care use to become resilient. This is our gift we hope to share with the world.

So, what do we specifically do at Peace4Kids to successfully help youth in foster care beat the odds and become active and engaged members of society?  The answer is simple … we create a safe space for them to be heard. 

The most important part of ensuring that our youth are heard is making sure that we listen. Youth in care have a language all their own and we have worked very hard to translate it. When our youth speak of "Community as Family," they are speaking about the need to connect with others who, just like them, are walking through a difficult time and trying to make sense of it. Our youth are linked by these journeys and find inspiration from the insights of their peers. This has created an environment where generations of youth in care come to learn from each other. From age 4 – 65 our community shares the discoveries of how to thrive and adapt to achieve success.

In honor of this last day of National Foster Care Month we are sharing our White Paper that describes our approach in detail, along with a powerful message from our Alumna about how the P4K approach helped her on her journey. The P4K way is truly about the power of story. These stories are not only valuable for our village in South Los Angeles but resonate for foster care populations around the world.