Saturday the California Youth Connection (CYC), a group that advocates for foster kids, held the first annual "Tunes and Tuners" event at Stramler Park. While the group has successfully lobbied for new child welfare laws in the past, local representatives say there is still more work to be done.
Merceds Keesey is a former foster youth and now a part of CYC. She said while fundraising is vital it's also important to, "Let the community know about us and that we're not bad youth."
One of the biggest problems are the stereotypes foster kids bring, like that they have special needs or some sort of emotional baggage. Marissa Osuna is another former foster youth and says it is not really the "norm of living." She said, "You don't grow up with the same consistency that you would have if you were just normally with your regular family."
While there have been a number of laws passed that improve quality of life for foster youth, Merceds and Marissa feel more can be done stop kids from changing homes so frequently. Both lived in more than 6 homes before landing with the right family. "Some parents just want to do it for the money. Some parents don't really care," Keesey said.
Osuna said it was difficult to have to change schools so often because that also meant having to make a new set of friends and meet new families.
According to research done at UC Berkley there are more than 1,700 foster kids right here in Kern County.
Click here for more information on CYC.
Like Stephen Hicks on Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/StephenHicks23ABC
Follow him on Twitter- https://twitter.com/stephenhicks23