Christopher Rickabaugh

What is the one thing you wish people knew about the foster care system from your perspective?

I wish people knew the benefits of foster care. In my experience, if you allow the system to help you, it will. For example, the system offers grant money for continued education, which allows you to make a better life for yourself. It also helps you with medical bills through offering Medicaid until 26 years old if necessary. It gives you a fresh start on a new life.

What was the key takeaway from your experience of Foster Youth Shadow Day last year?

When I attended the Foster Youth Shadow Day in 2014 I was struck by the passion people have for the Foster Care System. It impressed me that with about 60 youth, we could have a word in how to improve the child welfare system, and it gave me an opportunity to connect with youth from around the nation. The experience in itself was priceless.