“They won’t be able to find us if we leave!” Marsialle Arbuckle remembers his three-year-old brother’s cries as a social worker took them from the court house steps where their parents had abandoned them.
“Not only did we suffer the tragedy of being abandoned, but also of being separated from our sibling – on the same day.” In this episode, Mr. Arbuckle reflects on his childhood in the foster care system and explains how it inspired him to start his own foundation, The Center for Urban Youth & Family Development, dedicated to helping children transition out of foster care and go on to lead happy, productive lives.
“I was scared. I was afraid…Technically speaking, I knew that if I didn’t go to college, I had no place else to go.” Marsialle Arbuckle was one of the lucky ones. He was placed in a warm and nurturing foster home at age two, and bonded quickly with his new family. However, as he neared adulthood and the dreaded moment of “aging out” of foster care, he recognized a hole in the system. He now works through his foundation to aid children approaching that same precipice.
“Foster care was created as a formal structure to take care of kids when their…legal caregivers can’t…The outcome is ideally to give those care givers the resources they need…to take those children home and make the family structure better.” Good intentions – and good people – abound within the foster care system. However, as Jennifer DeVivo, LMSW, ACSW Executive Director of Fostering Futures, explains in this episode, it is complicated to help heal families and children’s spirits which are, or are in danger of becoming, broken.