Courage & Resilience: A Foster Child’s Story of Success

How do some kids survive a life of poverty, homelessness, abuse, and foster care and eventually thrive? We talk about courage & resilience with David Ambroz who is a national poverty and child welfare expert and advocate and the author of the memoir, A Place Called Home. He was recognized by President Obama as an American Champion of Change. Currently serving as the Head of Community Engagement (West) for Amazon, Ambroz previously led Corporate Social Responsibility for Walt Disney Television, and has served as president of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission as well as a California Child Welfare Council member. After growing up homeless and then in foster care, he graduated from Vassar College and later earned his J.D. from UCLA School of Law. He is a foster dad and lives in Los Angeles, CA.

In this episode, we cover:

  • Poverty and Homelessness:
    • His story.
    • School
    • What made a difference?
    • What should adults who encounter or work with homeless children/youth know?
  • Foster Care:
    • His story.
    • Youth who identify as LGBTQ+ are overrepresented in foster care (Human Rights Campaign, 2015). While approximately 5 percent of the general population is estimated to be LGBTQ+, studies estimate that about 30 percent of youth in foster care identify as LGBTQ+. Why are these young people over represented in child welfare? LGBTQ+ youth are 1.5 -2 times more likely to have a foster placement failure.
    • What would you want foster parents to know?
  • What made the difference in your eventually succeeding? (Going to Vassar and UCLA Law School.)
  • The lack of available treatments for mental illness.
  • Why did you become a foster parent?
  • Why did you title the book “A Place Called Home?”

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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth