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seitapodcast.jpgFrom MSU Today on Impact Radio: In 1973, the year he turned 18, John Seita “graduated” from Michigan’s child welfare system to a life of homelessness and shoplifting on the streets of East Lansing.

Jobless, depressed and lacking any family or professional support, Seita had reached one of the two lowest points of his young life. The other: Being removed from his abusive home at age 8 and placed in the first of many foster homes and institutions in Ohio and Michigan.

But Seita – now an associate professor of social work at Michigan State University – considers himself lucky. Many other children raised in foster care or group homes “age out” of the state-supported system at 18 only to end up on drugs, in prison or prostitution, or dead at an early age, he says.

Today, Seita is part of a new breed of professionals who spent time as youth in the child welfare system and are now working to change that system.

Seita details his own experience in foster homes. He talks about what has changed in the system over the years and describes what still needs to happen for the system to be better. He feels strongly that foster care “alumni” can and should have a positive impact on the child welfare system.

Hosted by Russ White.

Hear the Conversation 29:25 – 16.8 mb mp3

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