My name is Bianca Feliciano, and I am here to tell you about my biggest influence prior to foster care. When I was about fifteen years old, me and my three siblings were removed from my parents due to neglect. At the time I felt confused, mad, and afraid all at the same time.

There were so many people surrounding my once family and I was met by my case manager who turned out to be the most influential women in my life. At first, I was just so angry at everything that was happening before me that when she approached me, I lashed out. She understood and we gave each other boundaries.

My case manager went ABOVE and BEYOND for me and my siblings. She was the mother I never had, and I never could find before. She listened to my every need and always sought out what was the best in my interest. She advocated for my beliefs and gave me a voice and I can never repay her. I am thankful for all the child welfare workers who have come into my life and shaped me into being the person I am today.

We hope you are supporting Foster Youth Voice Month by sharing our blogs and social media posts! One Voice IMPAACT is publishing 30 blogs to help raise the profile of youth with lived experience in Florida’s foster care system. We hope that this will be of value to child welfare professionals and youth advocates. Be sure to sign the Youth Voice Pledge here to show your support.

My name is Bianca Feliciano. I am a 22-year-old college student studying Social Services at St. Petersburg College. I have a license in Cosmetology that I earned this year and two years of dental hygiene at State College of Florida. I love spending time with my family and watching A LOT of Netflix. I love ALL sorts of animals, and I also paint from time to time. I started being involved with OVI this year and I absolutely enjoy OVI. I love the training we do to help us better understand how to make change in our community. In my future I hope to work with children and youth in the system. I want to be able to make a difference in every family I come across. I am very excited for my future!