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  • My Journal Entry: Systems Don’t Change Until People Change

    Episode 10

    As a career macro-level social worker, I've arrived at a major shift in perspective. The unit of change is more about people than policy. Today's episode is about how I came to the idea that systems don't change until people change. In other words, I believe that systems change strategies are important, but they are insufficient in advancing justice for families. I share how the strategies I've worked on ran up against very real limitations in their ability to improve the well-being of children or parents and keep families together. When we change the structures of the system are we solving the right problem? I wrap with some of my practices for how I am changing so that my work is in service of people rather than systems.
  • “Until then … I just keep moving forward.”

    Season 3, Episode 25

    We embark on an inspiring journey with Brandon Youngblood, exploring his life's challenges and triumphs. Join us as we delve into Brandon's incredible journey from a consistently chaotic childhood marked by domestic violence and substance use to becoming a Foster Care Specialist at MDHHS. At 29 years old, Brandon's story is one of resilience, expertise, and advocacy.
  • Making Holiday Traditions for Foster Youth


    On this week’s podcast, we discuss some headlines that seem to emanate in part from workforce woes, a lawsuit over anonymous reporting, one state’s effort to adjust child welfare policy after marijuana legalization, and missing school while locked up. Lisa Dickson of ACTION Ohio joins us to talk about the annual series of Thanksgiving dinners she helped state for youth in Ohio foster care, the right way to incorporate lived experience, the death of Ma’khia Bryant, and more.
  • “God Brings Beauty from Ashes.”

    Season 3, Episode 24

    We dive into Milizhia Mills' transformative journey—a dynamic professional and former foster youth, sharing her resilience and commitment to positive change. Join us as Milizhia unfolds her resilient spirit and commitment to positive change, shaped by her unique background. From her Bachelor's in Sociology to excelling as a Talent Acquisition Specialist, Milizhia's expertise in recruitment and advocacy reflects her dedication to making a difference.
  • Born in June Raised in April Podcast

    November: A Seat at the Table

    Episode 96

    For National Adoption Awareness Month I discuss my involvement with Adopt Us Kids and the incredibly rewarding event I have been part of for a few years now. And as the winter holidays begin, I talk about the importance of involving the ones closest to us to the holiday table.
  • Does Justice Happen in the Courtroom with Adam Ballout

    Episode 9

    Today's episode is a conversation I had with Adam Ballout who is an attorney and public defender in Everrett, WA. The conversation centers around something Adam said to me in a conversation that piqued my curiosity, "justice doesn't happen in the courtroom." I wanted to understand why an attorney would say this and where he thinks justice happens. We talk through the lessons Adam learned about justice for families throughout his career, how they have shaped his law practice, and what role he thinks attorneys play in speaking truth.
  • Love and Liberation

    Episode 23

    Welcome to Audio Nuggets, right here in the cypher, we are honored to be joined by Keshia Adeniyi-Dorsey for Episode 23: Love and Liberation. Keshia has advocated and served as a family defender for thousands of families who have been ensnarled by family policing and the Civil Death Penalty, commonly known as TPR. Keshia is a human being who enjoys spending time with her husband and beautiful baby girl. In this episode, the audience is gifted with the humanness of an abolitionist. Keshia shares that her goal as a family defender is to value and protect sacred family bonds and lineage. Keshia illustrates her love of Black families and that she gifts herself with liberation! She is true to self and acts in LOVE. And by glimpsing liberation, Keisha loves her Black people, and sees family’s full humanity.
  • My Journal Entry: Day One, My Decision to Leave

    Episode 8

    Today's episode starts with me reading straight from my journal. I read the "day one" entry from August 8, 2022, when I made the decision to leave my job. What follows are some reflections about whether or not I've stayed true to what I set out to do. The episode ends with a bit about my daily journaling practice and how it continues to bring me so much value. As always, you are invited to join the Proximity Podcast Club, a growing community of people who are supporting one another through their own process. We meet every Monday at 9am est. Message me on LinkedIn and I will send you the invitation.
  • Messaging to Win Hearts and Minds

    Episode 52

    Sometimes you can move a case with legal arguments and procedural tools, but other times, you have to win hearts and minds. In our newest podcast, Jim, John and Angela share how learning to message in this way can help your child client.
  • Congressional Investigations, States Investigating Themselves, and More


    On this week’s podcast, we discuss some news out of Tennessee that makes a congressional inquiry look bad, and two stories that highlight the intrinsic problem with investigations of abuse within foster care. We also talk about new research on abortion laws and foster care entries, supportive housing’s impact on reunification, and two cool mapping resources on federal and state spending.
  • Am I Solving the Right Problem with Ryan O’Donell

    Episode 7

    Today's episode is a conversation I had with my friend Ryan O'Donnell. Ryan is a tech entrepreneur, creative problem solver, and a former foster parent. Our conversation spans his decision to become a foster parent, what that experience taught him about the system and himself, and how he is reckoning with what he can do invest in the well-being of parents to keep families together.  His story starts just like most foster parents, but where it ends up is not only unexpected, it's actually the beginning of Ryan's quest to solve problems that truly serve parents and families.
  • A Conversation with Will Estrada


    This week we talk with Will Estrada, senior counsel at the Homeschool Legal Defense Association and former president of the Parental Rights Foundation, as well as the former host of the EPPiC Broadcast. Will has also served as attorney with the Federal Department of Health and Human Services.