GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – May is National Foster Care Month, and hundreds of thousands of people are recognized for their efforts to help children and youth in the foster care system.
There are over 400,000 children in foster care in the United States.
Carlina Shotwell was one of those children not too long ago.
She went through eight homes and was separated from her four siblings at the age of nine.
“I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to any of my siblings, none of us said by to each other because we didn’t know what was going on,” explained Shotwell. “And then we got in the little white car, the DSS car and drove to Winterville, where she dropped me and my younger sister off and that was it. Got a trash bag out the trunk dropped us off and like left.”
She said her experience was tough and from the moment she was taken away, she never felt at home.
So as an adult, and now mother, she decided she wants to change the foster care system by giving it a positive image.
“They’ll look at the kids like you’re a lost cause you went through a lot pity judgy, but what they have to understand is that they are not in foster care at any fault of their own,” said Shotwell.
That’s why she wrote her book ‘Journey: A Tale of a Foster Youth’s Journey Home.’
“I feel like in order for me to reach the kids. I need to tell a story and even though I’m not telling my exact story, I feel like this story will be just as helpful,” said Shotwell
Shotwell is currently working on her third degree at North Carolina Central, and plans to be a lawyer.
She said she also plans to write a picture book version of Journey, so it’s easier for younger children to understand.
For more information on Shotwell and her book, or foster care click here.