Being removed from your home and family because of abuse, neglect, or abandonment is highly traumatic, and just one of many hardships for foster children in the United States.
Often separated from siblings and placed in the care of strangers, foster children are faced with an uncertain future. Feelings of abandonment, fear, anxiety, stress and depression are common. Children who spend prolonged periods in foster care lack the security and support needed to thrive and become contributing members of society.
The SOS model of child-centered, family-based care is improving the lives and long-term outcomes of children in our SOS Villages. We are currently looking at ways to expand our impact so we can reach more of the children who need us most.
Anissa spent her entire life in foster care, moving from one placement to the next until she was adopted at age 12 by a loving mother. Sadly, just as Anissa started to feel safe and make friends, her mother was diagnosed with cancer and, within months, passed away.
Anissa found herself angry, combative, and struggling in school after she returned to foster care. By the time she arrived at an SOS Village in Illinois, Anissa had lost all hope of a better future.
Fortunately, Anissa’s SOS Mother began to help her with schoolwork, giving her devoted time, attention and encouragement. Slowly but surely, Anissa began to blossom as she learned to trust her SOS Mother, as well as her teachers and new friends.
Today, Anissa attends an Ivy League school where she excels academically. She also serves as an advocate for foster children and youth.
Thanesia’s childhood was a challenge from the start. She and her five siblings grew up in a small, impoverished town in Jamaica and often had to stay home from school because their parents weren’t able to cover school expenses. After her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and left unable to care for Thanesia and her 5 siblings, she was sent to live with their abusive father.
By the time she turned 14, Thanesia found herself struggling to come to terms with the effects of long-term physical and emotional abuse; her grades were poor and her outlook was bleak. Around this time she was brought to SOS and immediately felt like she’d found the love and support she’d been missing for so long.
Thanesia credits the unconditional support she received from her SOS Mother with helping her to overcome the challenges she faced for so long. She remembers the patience with which her SOS Mother explained how SOS would help her and is especially grateful for the dedication she showed to making sure she would succeed; Thanesia and her SOS Mother still maintain a relationship to this very day.
Today, Thanesia is in the military and working toward a psychology degree. She hopes to put her experience to use by helping other find their voice and the confidence they need to succeed.
"We must all do our part to equip young people with the tools needed to shape their own futures."
Lynn Croneberger CEO of SOS Children's Villages USA
Download our informational fact sheet to learn more about our SOS Villages in the United States.
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1620 I Street NW,
Washington, DC 20006
SOS Children’s Villages - USA, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with EIN Tax ID#: 13-6188433
SOS Children’s Villages - USA, Inc. is the U.S. headquarters of SOS Children’s Villages International