NEW YORK (WABC) -- Join Eyewitness News anchor Shirleen Allicot for a special focusing on children caught up in the foster care and juvenile justice systems - Protect Our Children: Surviving the System.
Watch the video in the player above to see stories of kids who have made it through rough times but are now thriving. Also shown is how to recognize signs of child abuse, and when to report it...plus how to get help for kids that may not be abused, but are neglected. And viewers will learn how to become a foster parent.
The show features an 18-year-old young man who survived being shuttled to different foster care homes throughout his childhood and is now going to college and hoping for a better life.
Three sisters share their inspiring story of finding a forever home with their very first foster mom, who has adopted them and their two siblings. The girls talk about how it took them time to trust again, and how they realized they were safe and loved.
For teens who get arrested and charged with crimes - no matter how small - it can be the beginning of a lifetime of trouble with the law. The special introduces two women who, as teens, were pregnant and facing jail time. They turned their lives around thanks to a special program that works with the court system to keep kids out of jail. The program has an incredible success rate of rehabilitating juvenile offenders.
Shirleen Allicot also interviews Academy Award nominee Lorraine Bracco about her passion: helping kids in the foster care system live a better life. Ms. Bracco talks about how she got involved with a charity that provides foster kids with new experiences and opportunities that enrich their lives.
This special is a look inside the lives of children who have survived the system, and how they're helped by programs and people who care.
Resources Seen on our Show:
For Information about becoming a foster parent in New York City: The WISH Line: (877) 676-WISH (9474)
To report possible child abuse or neglect: New York Child Abuse Hotline: (800) 342-3720
New Jersey Child Abuse Hotline: (877) 652-2873
Connecticut Child Abuse Hotline: (800) 842-2288
Help for struggling parents - ACS Helpline: (212) 676-7667
For more information about Avenues for Justice - https://www.avenuesforjustice.org/
For more information on Lorraine Bracco's charity The Felix Organization - https://www.thefelixorganization.org/