Keeping It Secret: Teens Write About Foster Care Stigma
In addition to the pain of losing family, perhaps the second most painful aspect of foster care is living with the stigma of living in the system. Because they fear being teased or stereotyped, many foster youth keep their living situations a secret.
These essays show how they grapple with the fear of stigma, and the consequences of hiding (and revealing) their identities. The debate whether or not it’s a good idea to opt for full disclosure. You’ll read about episodes of teasing and cruelty, but also moments of understanding awkwardness and shame.
In the final story, Don’t Labels Us, Giselle John makes a powerful argument against stigma. She points out the many ways that being in care builds character and resilience.
Additional Author: Youth Communication