The Sandcastle Foundation is a nonprofit focused on support and advocacy of those in the foster care system. Whether they be the adoptee or families touched by the foster care system, they all need love, support, counseling and resources to thrive.
The Sandcastle Foundation also seeks to increase the awareness of the needs of children separated from their biological parents and increase the rate of reunification and family preservation.
“We are passionate about protecting the mental health of adoptees,” said Theresa Wood, executive director of the Sandcastle Foundation, “and reducing the rate of suicide among adoptees through advocacy, family education and most of all by listening to the adoptees.”
Through trainings and programs, the foundation helps to reduce the harm and trauma that a child experiences through familial separation — educating the kids and empowering them to help them be able to make their own voices be heard. The foundation also educates and trains people who are interested in becoming foster parents or adoptive parents.
“I started Sandcastle Foundation because I am an adult adoptee and former foster youth. I am also a transracial adoptee,” explained Wood. “Not every adoption is a happy and safe one, and not every child in foster care has a horror story. My story is one of the ‘good’ ones. I have a wonderful family that’s full of both adoptive and biological members, and yet I know my experience isn’t what everyone has seen.”
Wood sees the flaws in the current adoption system and the need for change. Adoptees are four times more likely to attempt suicide than those who are raised in biological families.
Over the last nine years, Wood and her team have been proud of the number of families they’ve kept away from the foster care system. When children are removed from their home and placed into the system, it is predominantly for reasons stemming from poverty. By being proactive and helping families address issues that arise from poverty, the Sandcastle Foundation helps keep families together and helps to reduce childhood and generational trauma within the community.
The Sandcastle Foundation is working to provide more statewide trainings for adults interested in fostering or adopting. It is also creating a program to help facilitate safer and healthier reunification opportunities for adult adoptees looking to reconnect with biological family members.
For more information and to show your support, visit the Sandcastle Foundation at facebook.com/sandcastlefoundation/.