From Agent to Advocate to Activist with Dr Jessica Pryce

I’m excited to bring you this week’s conversation with Dr Jessica Pryce. Dr Pryce’s new book, Broken: Transforming Child Protective Services, gave us a great backdrop to a wide-ranging conversation. At the beginning of the book, she lays out a framework or process of moving from being an agent of the child protection system to becoming an advocate and then activist. We talk about what these terms mean, the process of moving from one to the other, and how this has played out in Jessica’s career.

Empowerment Evolved: Thriving Beyond Trauma

Embark on a transformative journey with Jas Snell on “InnerViews,” as we delve into the empowering realm of healthy emotionality amidst trauma. Explore how Jas, a Black woman with lived child welfare experiences, navigates the intricacies of mental and emotional health, cultivating resilience and empowerment. Uncover the transformative power of embracing emotions, fostering well-being, and advocating for holistic healing in oneself and the community.

Content Warning: Sensitive topics will be discussed.

My Journal: Am I Afraid to Address Racism Publicly?

This episode is a follow up to the previous journal episode, Am I Biased? One of our ambitions with this show is to build community and engage the community in a conversation. So, the series of episodes about termination of parental rights led to some feedback that prompted the episode about my biases. And that episode prompted past guest Corey Best to send me a journal prompt that I used for this episode. I do have fears about addressing racism publicly, and I believe that I need to have conversations about racism in public. My hope with all of these episodes is that by sharing a little bit of my own vulnerability it can normalize conversations that often feel difficult.

Perspectives on the Future of Foster Care with Serita Cox

For the past three years, iFoster has been conducting the Voice of the Foster Care Community survey to gather perspective on the system from current and former foster youth, caregivers and the child welfare workforce.

iFoster CEO Serita Cox joins the podcast to discuss this year’s findings, which focused on gauging attitudes about solutions to some of the challenges surfaced in earlier surveys. She also discussed iFoster’s argument for moving towards a “child-first” system and what that would take, plus what her organization is working on with AmeriCorps around reaching more opportunity youth.

Reading Room

Free online discussion: Culturally Competent Care

Voice of the Foster Care Community

Voice of the Foster Care Community Survey, 2024

Opportunity Pathways: AmeriCorps’ Role in Addressing America’s Opportunity Youth Crisis

Centering the Work In Communities with Tiffany Boyd and Justin Lee

In this episode, Tecoria and Elliott are in conversation with Tiffany Boyd and Justin Lee. Tiffany is a Lived Experience Expert and Advocate for Youth and Justin is the Senior Director of Strategic Consulting at Casey Family Programs. The conversation is largely about centering the work in communities, which is one of the four guiding principles of the Thriving Families, Safer Children (TFSC) initiative. They focus on what this principle means, when they know it’s happening and when it’s not happening, and how they are applying it in Los Angeles County.

In this episode, listeners will take away why systems and communities should partner and co-create together, why communities should be in a position to lead, and how to navigate the challenges and successes that are inherent in this approach. Other topics include equitable compensation, moving beyond compensation to enterprise building, lived expertise, and acknowledging different types of the expertise and power imbalances.

Hip Hop Culture & Organizing For Health

We are right back in the cypher, on Audio Nuggets with Khafre Jay in Episode 33: Hip Hop Culture & Organizing For Health. Khafre Jay is a change-maker, hip hop artist, and community organizer who is practicing new worlds.

Hip hop is art. Hip hop is poetry. Hip hop is a cornerstone of our stories. Hip hop is the MOST effective organizing force that we have. Hip Hop is culture! In this episode, we hear from Khafre about his abolitionism and how he’s leveraging Hip Hop as communal health. This King has range, wisdom and a sharp political analysis. Be prepared to break intellectual laziness as we chop it up.

To learn more about Khafre Jay and ways to support Drip Fest, you can visit his website  Hip Hop Organizer | Khafre Jay and subscribe to the newsletter Unapologetic Black, watch his Ted Talk Performance by Hip Hop for Change | Khafre Jay | TEDxSausalito ( and follow on IG @khafrejay.

Ask Me Anything with Guest Host Kathleen Creamer

I’m super excited to bring you the first ever (but not the last) Ask Me Anything episode. We put out a call for questions and you all came through. We received more questions than we could get to in one episode. We also asked the Proximity Podcast Club if someone wanted to guest host. Again, lots of interest but there could only be one host. Kathleen Creamer is a parent defense attorney but has a real talent for hosting. Maybe she’ll have her own show soon. Kathleen curated your questions, and we covered ground from why I started the show, what I hope to accomplish, who inspires me, and what gives me hope. Of course, we ended with our two questions, what does proximity mean to me and what advice do I have for the listeners. I hope you enjoy this episode!

Listening to Lived Experience with Sixto Cancel

This week, we’re joined by Sixto Cancel. Sixto is the founder and CEO of Think of Us, a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to reform and transform the child welfare system, led and guided by people who have been directly impacted by this system. Sixto tells us about the work that Think of Us is doing, and shares how his own experience growing in the foster care system led him to work toward its transformation and reform.

Parental Rights Appeal in Michigan, Safe Placements for LGBTQ Youth, and More

On this month’s headlines edition of the podcast, we discuss an upcoming appeal in Michigan around the constitutionality of some terminations of parental rights, as well as a trial starting in Oregon and a new lawsuit filed against Louisiana.

We also cover the very steep decline in foster care entries in Texas since the passage of a law that sharpened the definition of neglect in the state, a music studio helping incarcerated youth, and a fourth path to permanency begins in Kansas.

Reading Room

Free online discussion: Culturally-Competent Care

McCormack’s Dissent

To see oral arguments in the case In Re Bates, Minors

Louisiana the Latest State to Be Sued over Foster Care Issues

Federal Rule: Designated Placement Requirements for LGBTQI+ Children

Family Poverty is Not Child Neglect Act is Reintroduced

Head of Children’s Bureau Departing Biden Administration

Buffalo Recording Studio Offers Young Rappers in State Custody a Place to Express Freely

US Senate Investigation Finds ‘Systemic Failures’ to Keep Georgia Foster Kids Safe

For Kansas Foster Youth, a Fourth Path to Permanency

My Journal: Am I Biased?

n this week’s episode I start with the journal prompt, am I biased?  This was prompted by some of the feedback to our most recent episodes on Termination of Parental Rights. I thought I would let you all into my process of how I try to approach feedback that is critical or raises questions about my intentions. Rather than defending anything that is being said on the show my hope is to ask myself some questions about what I can learn from the feedback. You’ll have to listen to the episode to hear my answer to the prompt.

Breaking the Silence: Empowering Survivors of Assault in Care

Join host Ivory Bennett in an insightful conversation with Saunya Jones as they explore the complexities of healing from trauma, neglect, and abuse within the foster care system. From mental,  emotional, and sexual health to the well-being of Black women, they delve into topics such as generational trauma, the intersection of past trauma and foster care, and societal stigmas hindering sexual assault survivors’ paths to joy and agency. Discover empowering anecdotes and practical steps towards fostering healing, empowerment, and resilience for people with lived child welfare experiences.

Find Saunya Jones at

My Commitment to the Movement with Valerie Frost

Welcome to Community In-Site, a podcast about the family well-being movement. Episode 1 highlights Valerie Frost’s story of how she became not only an advocate for families but one of the leaders of the Thriving Families, Safer Children site in Kentucky. Hosts Tecoria and Elliott talk to Valerie about her lived experience, the lessons being learned so far from the site work in Kentucky, and Valerie’s vision for what success could look like over the next 5, 10, 15 years.

If you want to learn more about Valerie’s work at Kentucky Youth Advocates and her role with the Thriving Families, Safer Children initiative you can visit the KYA website and read her blog. 

If you want to learn more about the Thriving Families, Safer Children initiative you can visit the website

Please email us if you want to connect with the creative team or find out how to engage with the family well-being movement at

Termination of Parental Rights with Vivek Sankaran

This week’s episode continues our series of conversations about Termination of Parent Rights. I wanted to talk to Vivek Sankaran because he has a unique depth of knowledge to bring to the thought experiment that we’ve been bringing to these episodes, which is to imagine what if TPR was no longer an option. Vivek directs the Child Advocacy Law Clinic and the Child Welfare Appellate Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School. We talked about TPR from the perspective of its morality, necessity, and constitutionality. We started the conversation with Vivek’s earliest experiences as an attorney representing children and how he came to see the need to represent parents. We end the conversation with Vivek talking about a case that he is taking to the Michigan Supreme Court and the implications it could have if successful.

Introducing Community In-Site

Announcing the Community In-Site podcast with hosts Elliott Hinkle and Tecoria Jones.

Healing the Mind Heals the Body

Join host Ivory Bennett on InnerViews as she delves into the complex intersections of trauma, health, and empowerment with special guest Dalyce Wilson. From the societal protection of predators to the health of Black women, Ivory and Dalyce explore topics such as sexual assault, trauma’s impact on diseases like T1D, mental and emotional well-being, and the healing journey. Discover the power of forgiveness, the resilience of the human spirit, and actionable steps toward reclaiming self after trauma.

Show Notes: 

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

Rewind: Better Outcomes for Families with Ernestine Gray

This week, we’re rewinding to a a conversation with Ernestine Gray from April 2023.

This week, we talk with former judge Ernestine Gray, who served for 35 years in the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court in Louisiana. During her tenure, the Orleans Juvenile Court went from what the New York Times described as “the worst juvenile court in the nation” to a model that other juvenile courts looked to for best practices. Ernestine tells us about her many years of striving to improve the child welfare system in her parish, and how she’s worked to improve the lives of the parents and children who came into her courtroom.