Click on the image to access this episode! The foster care system is designed to help children in need, but what is it really like to grow up in “the system” – and age out of it? Marsialle Arbuckle was only a young child when he was abandoned by his parents and placed in a foster home. For him, the system worked. However, he recognizes how the flaws in the system and the lack of a conventional family structure can negatively impact a person’s future. Now he is dedicated to helping children who are aging out of foster care and are in the difficult process of finding or staying on the right path.
“Not only did my brothers and I 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 who are 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 caregivers 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 that are, or are in danger of becoming, broken.