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via Nickelodeon press release:
KIDS IN FOSTER CARE SHARE THEIR STORIES ON
NICK NEWS WITH LINDA ELLERBEE
“FOSTER CARE: A REALITY CHECK”
PREMIERING SUNDAY, OCT. 24, ON NICKELODEON
NEW YORK, Oct. 19, 2010 — “My first birthday in the foster home, I had turned 13,” says Freddie, a former foster kid from New York City. “My school bus matron brought me a cake and candles. And I took it home and lit the candles by myself. And I sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to myself. That was the worst birthday I’ve had.”
“We don’t have parents that were able to take care of us,” Starr says. “That’s not our fault.”
And that’s the exact definition of a foster kid—from a foster kid. Foster care is when another grownup or family takes you in, because your parents can’t or won’t provide for you properly. Hear their stories from the kids themselves in a new half-hour special, “Foster Care: A Reality Check,” premiering Sunday, Oct. 24, at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.
Close to half a million kids are currently in foster care. How did they wind up there? How do they cope with moving from home to home? And what happens when they’re no longer kids? Those are all questions foster kids face every day. For many of them, a foster family is an oasis of stability and sanity in a world where they’re not in control. But for others, foster care is filled with loneliness and longing for something most kids take for granted: a family of their own.
You’ll meet Isaiah and Solomon, twin brothers from upstate New York. “One thing (my mother) said that really bothered me was, um, she never meant to have me,” Isaiah says.
“They may not have chosen the path they travel,” says Ellerbee, “but they have a lot to teach the rest of us about courage, strength and resilience.”
You’ll hear from Starr and her sister Connie from New Mexico — two foster kids trying to help kids even younger than they are, partly because, when the twins were put into foster care, they were placed in one home — while Destiny, their little sister, was placed in a different foster home. “So we speak for younger foster kids that may not speak up for themselves,” Connie says. “I just want people to know that life is hard, you go through things but you can always make it through. From darkness there’s a light,” says Starr.
There are three ways out of foster care: being adopted, turning 18, or being reunited with your birth parents or parent. Melody from Nebraska was ordered into foster care, and her parents were told she would remain there until they found a suitable place for the family to live, took parenting classes and attended therapy in order to prove they were fit to raise their children. “I would like them to be more loving, caring, and for them to be there for us and I know that they will,” says Melody. “They’re doing really well and I have a feeling that we will come home soon.”
And then there’s 14-year-old Rashad from Florida. To listen to his story is to make your heart hurt. “I’ve been in about 21 homes since I was 8,” he says. And yet Rashad still hopes someone will adopt him. “I’m a nice person and I care about people. I’ve been told that I have a big heart. And I feel like I deserve love just like everybody else. If I get adopted I’m gonna stay there, I won’t move again, and I’ll be happy.”
Nick News, produced by Lucky Duck Productions, is now in its 19th year and is the longest-running kids’ news show in television history. It has built its reputation on the respectful and direct way it speaks to kids about the important issues of the day. Over the years, Nick News has received more than 20 Emmy nominations and recently won its eighth Emmy Award for The Face of Courage: Kids Living with Cancer for Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction Program. Additional Emmy wins for outstanding children’s programming include: Coming Home: When Parents Return from War (2009); The Untouchable Kids of India (2008); Private Worlds: Kids and Autism (2007); Never Again: From the Holocaust to the Sudan (2005); Faces of Hope: The Kids of Afghanistan (2002) and What Are You Staring At? (1998). In addition, in 1995, the entire series won the Emmy. In 2009, Nick News was honored with the Edward R. Murrow Award for best Network News Documentary for Coming Home: When Parents Return from War — the first-ever kids’ television program to receive this prestigious award. Nick News has also received three Peabody Awards, including a personal award given to Ellerbee for explaining the impeachment of President Clinton to kids, as well as a Columbia duPont Award and more than a dozen Parents’ Choice Awards.
Nickelodeon, now in its 31st year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA – News, VIA.B – News).