Foster Youth Speak About Getting Their “File”

Summary: Over redaction, lost and sealed records, incomplete, hurtful, and false information. Foster youth share a wake up call of requesting their foster care file and give advice to others who are requesting theirs.

In February, we opened a survey for current and former foster youth, around requesting their foster care file.  

THANK YOU to all those who took time to respond!

There is a clear disconnect between the research that shows that having this information is essential to wholehearted lives and the fact that it is so hard to access.

Many ran into:

  • Very little support 
  • High redaction
  • Hurtful, highly negative language
  • Lost records
  • Sealed records
  • Missing information
  • False information

We asked…  what advise do they have for other youth?  And is this information is a “want” or a “need”?

Read their insightful responses below.

This is the power of story.

Power of Story wants to elevate this conversation around the impact, right to access, and the need for young people to have their information and stories. We plan to take this information as well as their other responses to discuss how we can do better moving forward and what support might look like during the request of records.

This survey is ongoing, If you spend time in care and would like to share your process thus far – we would love to hear from you and you can complete the survey here – https://lnkd.in/ennpAYJt



*Since foster care happens in many counties, people who have lived in foster care are referred to by many names: foster youth, care leavers, care experienced individuals, those with lived experience in the child protection system, former foster youth, FFY, and foster alumni. However, none of those names capture the experience of being removed from your first family or the individuality of the people those names refer to.


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Over redaction, lost and sealed records, incomplete, hurtful, and false information. Foster youth share about requesting their foster care file and give advice to other youth.

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