All 4 Kidz
"All 4 Kidz has a powerful team of members that’s committed to improving the lives of youth in our community. Our team is very dedicated to helping, supporting and empowering the youth in our program."
Santana Lee knows the feeling of being raised in a nontraditional household, she was raised in out-of-home care for several years of her life. When she was eventually asked to take in one of her younger cousins, Santana didn’t hesitate because she remembered growing up in a home with her maternal grandmother and two brothers. What at first started out as a short-term request from her cousins’ parents, overtime started to look like it would be a permanent placement. Santana started out with the child being in her home with nontraditional kinship care as a verbal agreement and after a year she applied for a kinship care with the state. During this process, the child had two other older siblings still in the care of their parents, eventually the child welfare agency was called on the mom. After completing all of the training required by the state, Santana became a licensed foster parent. She specifically became the foster mother to the child that was already in her care and eventually the child’s other two siblings as well.
At the time, Santana, was in school studying psychology focusing on human behavior and development in addition to also attending a few extensive trauma training. Meanwhile, she was still the foster mother to the three children while also going through the process of adopting them. She would soon come to realize that the process of adoption was definitely not as easy as it may seem. There were times when she frequently did not feel supported especially by-her case managers from the agency. Throughout the adoption process, she would have to advocate on behalf of the children. She would often feel like she needed to continually and repeatedly ask for support to receive the special services for the children needs until the agency finally made the resources that the children desperately needed available. Like many other kinship caregivers Santana, believes that the system and laws can sometimes make a bad situation feel worse. Once the children were officially adopted, she started working with other advocates to fight for better support services so families are more aware of the available resources.
After going through the adoption process, Santana became a volunteer and went on to receive CASA and Fostering Futures training which is focuses on teens in the foster system. She joined several organizations that legislate laws in the child welfare system and fight to make a change for our youth. Santana was trained to build a movement in the child welfare system and gone as far as to advocate with her state congressman and lawmakers. After doing all of her own research in the foster care system, Santana decided to create her own organization to give back to the youth. Her goal is to provide them with the services that they are entitled to by being in the child welfare system, as well as the support that they all need and deserve. Based on that mission alone,All 4 Kidz was born.