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The Story of Foster Care | Volume 2

In collaboration with Empty Frames Initiative I co-authored a book in 2023! I am excited to now offer this book for sale on my website, at speaking engagements, and trainings!  

About the Book

Created and presented by Empty Frames Initiative, this work reveals the intersections of the foster care system and the realm of human trafficking from the perspectives of those with lived experience.


In this sequel book, The Story of Foster Care, Vol. 2, presents an autobiographical collection that brings awareness to the intersections of the foster care system and the realm of human trafficking. Readers are once more invited into the stories of lived experiences, with this volume focused on those who have experienced both foster care and human trafficking, the professional community who work to support healthy exits from trafficking, and child-welfare professionals who have witnessed the systemic connection.


The collection of photovoice storytelling engages photography and prose to center the stories. Narrative works in the collection are varied with each author's delivery, with insights shared in voices of prose, direct speech, and commentary. The artistic voice of each author is also seen through their personal and individual photographs which complement the written works and visually bring their story to life.


This volume features:


  • Dynamic Full Color Photos

  • Multiple Perspectives of the foster care system (former foster youth, survivors of trafficking who were also former foster youth, social workers, professional support community, foster parents)

  • Concept Mapping of Three Distinct Intersections: Before, During, & After time in care

  • Identifies need for healing interventions from communities

  • Ideal read for adults wanting to learn more about the foster care system and/or the world of human trafficking


Both Foster Care and Human Trafficking are challenging topics, more so within their interconnectivity. The artists involved with this project provide a cohesive, collaborative overview engineered toward the origin of prevention, intervention, and healing for individuals and systems alike.


Empty Frames Initiative's Contributing Authors:

  • Betty Beatty

  • Sarah Chambers

  • Lauren Clark

  • Miriam Cobb

  • Courtney Dunkerton

  • Arcelina Galvan

  • Monique McClendon

  • Kristen Motta

  • Tonnette Patterson

  • Khalila Riga


This work also serves as encouragement to those working in the field and those experiencing life in the overlap of foster care and human trafficking - that there is more to your story and the intersections need only be a chapter. Volume 2 continues to prompt reflection for professionals working on either side of the intersection, sounding a call to move towards the middle by illuminating new ways to approach the complexity found at the intersection.


Both challenging and inspiring, this honest work compels the reader to set aside preconceived notions and listen to the lived experiences of others.


This volume is a compelling introduction to the foster care system and the world of human trafficking and is meant for anyone connected to the foster care community: former foster youth, trafficking survivors, concerned parents, foster parents, educators, collegiate, medical staff, advocates, law enforcement, counselors, legislative communities, pastors, faith-based communities, and anyone interested in engaging in the intricate world of foster care.

"A Chance"

"I read the book on The Story of Foster Care Volume two. I found it absolutely informative. The book gave the survivors a chance to express their life experiences. I was enlightened on the Foster Care and Child Welfare systems with its benefits and flaws. Acknowledging the dangers of Trafficking was very helpful. This book well written and opens up minds to absorb what is going in world that we are not fully aware of. Of course I cried when I read my precious niece's life experiences. I thank the Lord for sending her back to us, her family who had looking for her for years. I am grateful for all of the resources that you have listed as well as the real accounts of perpetrators. I pray many not only read the book but take what ever action that is appropriate for them where they are in life."




"Reading ‘The Story of Foster Care, volume 2, was a moving experience. I learned so much about the invisible ways the cracks in our broken systems leave the most vulnerable even more vulnerable. The personal stories are powerful, although at times painful to read. However, it is encouraging to see each participant overcome their circumstances. By listening to survivors, through these stories and others, we can collectively learn how we can better advocate for the resources, education, and policies that will better protect those in the system." 


"Thank You"

"Thank you to everyone who shared their experiences! This was very well put together and very powerful!"


"Eye Opener"

"The Story of Foster Care Volume 2: I enjoyed reading this! The book is an eye opener to the dirty under belly of children who are left behind, unwanted, abandoned, and taken advantage of. I think of it as a gentle eye opener because the actual horror of details would be too scary for most readers. But it’s enough to cause an interest to those who are curious, and a feeling of understanding to those who really know. Although I grew up in the system, I was lucky to not have been trafficked. However, I have friends who were and I had no idea of their hell. I only know a sliver of their torture, and am still wrapping my head around it. While I’m still wallowing in this mindset of shock, and all that comes with it, reading this book surprisingly gives me hope for the victims of trafficking to get help and support! There has been so much being done already for these children! I pray the cycle comes to a halt. Thank you for sharing."



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