Meredith Z. Avakian can directly relate to many of the children who come through the foster care program at Turning Points for Children. When she was kicked out of her home at age 14, she found herself living on her aunt’s front porch, hopeful for a new start after a childhood of emotional, verbal and sexual abuse. She saw that moment as a pivotal opportunity to get out of an abusive home and change her life forever – and she has done just that.
“I was fortunate enough to have a family member who took me in during this difficult time, but I recognize that so many children, especially in a city like Philadelphia -- with the deepest poverty levels in the country -- do not,” said Meredith. “These children become a part of the system. But through Turning Points for Children, so many kids with stories like mine are given the second chance they deserve.”
You’ve just turned 18 years old. You have your whole life ahead of you. And then, your mother and father pat you on your back and say…
“This is where our time together ends. Good luck.
We’re rooting for you. We won’t see one another again.”
Focusing on Trauma and Resilience, Philadelphia’s 4th bi-annual kinship care conference took place on September 23rd. Sponsored by Turning Points for Children, Senator Anthony Williams; the Philadelphia Kinship Care Committee, and the Philadelphia Department of Human Services. The conference addressed the needs and concerns of grandparents and other relatives who have stepped-up to raise children who cannot be with their parents.