Welcome Peter Mutabazi to the Whole View! This week, Stacy and Peter discuss his background in foster care, both as child from an abusive home, growing up on the streets of Uganda, and relying on the kindness of strangers, to a foster parent, paying that kindness forward to other children in need. He shares his experience dealing with trauma, healing, and his amazing work in the foster system. Listen now for an inspiring and emotion-packed conversation.
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- Stacy found Peter through the fostering community on social. He makes the VERY difficult work of helping traumatized youth seem fun and effortless – though I know, from first hand experience, that it is not. When he shared that he had a book coming out, I wanted to learn and share more about his story. I think we can all learn more from his life philosophies.
- Formally, Peter Mutabazi is an entrepreneur, an international advocate for children, and the founder of Now I Am Known, a corporation that supplies resources that encourage and affirm children. A single father of two and foster dad to many, Peter is a former street kid who has worked for World Vision, Compassion International, the Red Cross, and has appeared on media outlets such as the BBC and The TODAY Show. A passionate and popular speaker, he currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.
- Peter came from an abusive home and grew up on the streets of Uganda. There he experienced food and supply scarcity, and really began to see kindness as a red flag from abusive strangers. He met a stranger who asked his name, which no one ever did before, and that stranger began to seek him out every day to talk to him. Eventually, he convinced Peter to go to school.
- Peter originally started going because he was able to get food there. But in order to get the food, he would have to also attend class. From there, he started to love learning, went to college, and eventually immigrated to the US.
Trauma, Foster Kids, & Becoming A Foster Parent
- Peter was first exposed to the idea of becoming a foster parent when in colleague showed him pictures of their new daughter. The colleague was a white man, but the pictures he showed Peter was of a young black girl. And in trying to figure out how that was possible, Peter learned of the foster system.
- He was shocked to find that as a single black man, he was qualified to become a foster parent. And as someone who had grown up with food and shelter scarcity, Peter saw an opportunity to pay back the kindness of that one stranger by paying it forward to other kids in need.
- Stacy introduces Peter’s book, “to every vulnerable human being who may not think there is hope, you are seen, you are heard, you are loved.”
- Peter has adopted two teens, one of whom recently – through your empowerment – has been able to move out onto his own.
- His work helps break the bias and systemic racism in foster care. Families of color are disproportionately represented in foster care, more likely to experience multiple placements, more likely to experience group care – which leads to worse outcomes, less likely to establish permanent placement, and more likely to experience poor social, behavioral, and educational outcomes, of course as a result of those worse circumstances.
- Children of color are less likely to be reunited with their birth families. Stacy provided respite to two sibling Black boys whose dad was so involved, trying his best to meet the state’s requirements, and couldn’t achieve them all by the court’s arbitrarily assigned date. So the state terminated his parental rights. She just found this out, seeing them at a recent event, and hearing how they have had multiple placements.
- Become a foster parent.
- Provide respite (like babysitting for foster kiddos to give foster families a break).
- Become a CASA.
- Provide resources for agencies and families, like donations, meals, help recruiting, or administrative support with donation of time, money, or goods:
- Donate a “birthday box” through Foster Love Together We Rise, a non-profit organization that will ensure a kid with the same birthday gets a pre-packaged birthday box to their social worker. They’re currently raising funds for a Disney Days sibling reunification program, as 70% of siblings are separated.
- Support kiddos aging out of foster care through the Dreammaker’s Project Shop, where kiddo creations are available for you to purchase. Stacy personally bought the spices and artwork cards!
- Sponsor kids aging out who have basic needs to survive, at Dreammaker’s Project – like bus money to get to their job, or money for a computer to finish school.
- Donate or sign-up for a children’s rights membership.
- Foster the Family, in NJ and DC, a nonprofit organization that provides practical necessities and caring support to the doorstep of foster families AND most locals will have Partners for Kids in Care or a similar program for donations through the Child and Family Services Agency’s government website – for example, donating off an Amazon Smile Wishlist
- You can support Stacy’s specific Agency, UMFS, or find one in your local area.
- Continue to talk openly and honestly about what foster care is – and isn’t. There are so many misconceptions from TV and film, that people often assume the worst.
Want More? Have Questions?
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- Now I Am Known
- Disproportionality and Race Equity in Child Welfare
- Lifetime Prevalence of Investigating Child Maltreatment Among US Children
- Foster Care Awareness for more info
- The Whole View Ep 7 Season 3 – Mental Health & the Foster System with Matt
- Foster Love Together We Rise
- Dream Maker’s Project
- Children’s Rights
- Partners for Kids in Care
- Foster the Family DC
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