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John's Radical Blog

Child Welfare Trends

The field of child welfare is evolving. Books from Child Welfare Alumni such as Dave Pelzer (A Child Called It), Antwone Fisher (Finding Fish) and John Seita (Kids Who Outwit Adults) are shedding light on the insider's view of the foster care system.

New approaches like Positive Youth Development, strength-based approaches, resiliency, and the Asset model are hopeful signs. Kids who are at risk, in special education and in alternative schools are now more likely to be reclaimed by social workers, educators and their own parents. After school programs are also reducing risk factors and building protective factors. 

Dr. John Seita is a former youth at risk who beat the odds. He was removed from his mother's home at the age of eight and spent the remainder of his childhood and adolescence in multiple foster homes and group care settings. Abused and neglected as a child, his journey though children's institutions and countless foster homes was a litany of degradation and humiliation. His unrestrained anger at his mother and the system led to a childhood of anger, loneliness and one where he fought with adults, counselors, teachers, house parents, childcare workers and anyone else who crossed his path.

Today he is Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Michigan State University where he also has appointments with the MSU Extension/4-H and with the Michigan Agricultural Experimental Station.

Our keynote presentations and training adds value to your organization by providing you with Dr. Seita's rare and unique insight by understanding the private logic of defiance often hidden in youth. There are few trainers and speakers nation wide who have lived in the dependent care system and now share both their insiders view linked with the latest research in positive youth development, resilience, strength based approaches and brain research. His practical views are blended with inspirations and hope.