Donna Hitchents

Donna Hitchens M.A., J.D. ’77 never dreamed of law, yet changed the system.

By Laura | August 4, 2020

We are so proud to have her as a long-standing member of our board! It may be surprising that Donna Hitchens M.A., J.D. ’77—who became the first openly lesbian judge elected to the bench in the United States and spent 20 years of her career on the California Superior Court bench—never dreamed of becoming a…

Perspectives of Current and Former Foster Youth During COVID-19: Preliminary Report

By A Home Within | August 4, 2020

Saralyn Ruff, our Clinical Consultant, collected responses from young adults in foster care to learn about their experiences and needs during COVID-19. Please review her Preliminary Report here, and contact her with any questions. This national survey assessed the needs, concerns, and strengths of young adults (ages 18-26) with a history of foster care in…

Virtual Support Group for Current and Former Foster Youth: Doodling Permitted, Songs Encouraged

By A Home Within | July 24, 2020

On a recent Monday evening, a young man strummed a guitar as he performed an original song for his peers—physically scattered around Oregon but gathered virtually in a video conference room. Listening intently, the other youth waved their fingers in the “sparkle gesture” to show their appreciation for the powerful piece. The youth on the…

The Loving Place for Children That Assumes Beauty

By A Home Within | May 10, 2018

The Loving Place for Children That Assumes Beauty By David Brooks COMO, Italy — Some of the people who do the most good have a willingness to be radically changed. They are sensitive to the problems around them, which a lot of us are, but they are also willing to transform their lives to address them,…

LET’S MAKE PRIDE MONTH LAST ALL YEAR

By Toni Heineman | June 4, 2017

Being a kid can be hard. Being a foster kid can be even harder. Being an LGBTQ foster kid can sometimes be so hard that kids end up on the streets instead of protected by the agency that is responsible for their care. The child welfare system is charged—first and foremost—with providing for the physical…

Valentine’s Day: Beyond Romance

By Toni Heineman | February 14, 2017

Valentine’s Day: Beyond Romance Particularly this year, it is important to reach beyond flowers, chocolates, and heart-shaped gifts to the love that binds us to family, friends, and community. Too many among us now live in fear of losing those they hold most dear. Parents worry that they will be sent back to a country…

What’s So Hard about Hope?

By A Home Within | December 24, 2016

Our sense of optimism and the capacity to hope are rooted in the first months of life. When infants are fed when they are hungry, comforted when they are distressed, changed when they are wet or soiled, gently rocked to sleep when they are tired, and greeted with a smile when they awaken, they learn…

When We Look Away

By Toni Heineman | July 29, 2016

by Toni Heineman Monday morning brought news of another mass shooting. I was startled when I realized that I had silently sighed, “Well, only two dead this time.” Only two real people—teenagers with families, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, and scores of people who will never have a chance to know them—gone forever, for reasons that…

Continuing Confusion

By A Home Within | June 20, 2016

People have some strange ideas about sex and gender. Let’s take the current contention over who gets to use what bathroom. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what I’m referring to, here’s a quick recap. In March of 2015, North Carolina passed House Bill 2 (HB2), which requires anyone using a public bathroom…

Different AND Same

By Toni Heineman | June 18, 2016

This Sunday at 2 a.m., a man walked into a packed nightclub carrying a rifle and a pistol. He killed 49 people and injured 53 others. His victims were primarily gay Latino men; it was “Latin Night” at the gay club, Pulse. It is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, and it was targeted…