Together We Can Reverse The List


The Washington, DC metropolitan area is home to 6 of the top 10 wealthiest counties in the United States. Our area has one of the most educated workforces. We can also boast about our world class hospitals. Foster care intersects with poverty, education, employment, health and other social issues.


The Contradiction

  • 1,300 estimated children in the DC foster care system
  • 300 estimated DC children waiting to be adopted


This past weekend I had the honor and privilege of attending the ‘Foster The City’ event organized by the National Council For Adoption and DC127.  DC127 is an initiative of Washington, DC area churches. The free citywide event provided the opportunity to learn ways that each of us can make a difference in the life of a child living in foster care.


A city where every child has a loving home, and families are waiting for children, rather than children waiting for families.


Belief System

  1. Children need families.
  2. Families need support.
  3. Everyone can do something to make that happen.


Foster The City was about everyone finding their role. There were inspiring national experts and ordinary people showing extraordinary love and sacrifice who spoke from the heart as their lives have been changed as result of their involvement in foster care. This event covered all the bases with four “action” tracks:

  1. • Fostering and Adopting
  2. • Mentoring
  3. • Support
  4. • Advocacy and Mobilization


I took part in the advocacy and mobilization track. I was fully aware that many district youth are removed from their families then taken their and school and community connections and placed in Maryland foster homes. While attending Foster The City, I learned that DC’s lead-based paint certification may be a huge contributor to that fact. I also learned that DC children cannot be placed in Virginia. There’s definitely more to learn and more to do!


We all have a role to play in reversing the foster care wait list in Washington, DC. Learn more here about how you can improve the lives of children in the district.


Foster The City sign


Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer
The Teen Toolbox utilizes youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic empowerment strategies to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs. We are committed to supporting and raising awareness about the needs and potential of teenagers in the foster care system.

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