• 1 of 4 American Inmates Product of the Foster Care System According to Kansas City Star Investigation

    The Kansas City Star published a 6-part investigative report on the U.S. Foster Care system this week. Part One of the series is called: THROWAWAY KIDS: ‘We are sending more foster kids to prison than college.’ They surveyed nearly 6,000 inmates in 12 states, and one of out four responded that they were products of the Foster Care system in the U.S. “We are sending more foster kids to prison than college,” said Brent Kent, who spent the past 3½ years helping Indiana foster children transition into adulthood. “And what do we lose as a result? Generations of young people." One of the many stories highlighted in the series is the story of Michelle Voorhees, who is currently an inmate in the Topeka Correctional Facility. Sitting inside the Topeka Correctional Facility in her prison-issued navy blue shirt and olive pants, Voorhees said the state could have done more to keep her with her mother. She believes many former foster kids end up in worse condition than if they had been allowed to stay in their homes. “I was placed in 11 different state placements by the time I was 17,” she said. “I had two children during this time, developed a drug addiction, and sex trafficked. I spent a lot of my time in custody as a runaway. I did not graduate high school." She often thinks of how life could have been different if she were able to stay with her mother for all of her childhood. To know that she was always safe and loved. “Had my mom just had a little bit of help, had she had enough money to buy her own vehicle, had she had enough money to relocate herself from an abusive situation, had she not had to have been dependent on men in the first place for any kind of financial stability, I don’t believe that she would have made some of the decisions that she made,” Voorhees says. “I don’t believe that she would have struggled as a mother, because my mom is a good mom.”

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