Raising Other People’s Kids Podcast provides Insights and Interviews that Encourage and Empower from guest who are on the cutting edge of working with and Raising Other People’s Kids. Charles Brown has many years of experience as a foster/adoptive parent & mentor. And he's eager to share his insights with you.
The Barry Farmer Story
During this episode, I interview my special guest, Barry Farmer. Barry grew up in kinship care and became a foster parent at the age of 20 and adopted his oldest son at the age of 22. Barry Farmer is a spokesperson for Adopt Us Kids. He’s an advocate, speaker, mentor, blogger, and podcast host of the Barry Farmer Show. Barry is a single adoptive father of three, and I’m confident you’ll be encouraged by his story.
Barry Farmer is a Native of Richmond, Virginia. He grew up in Kinship Care with his grandmother from ages 5-18. For the last 15 years he's been devoted to working inside and outside the classroom with youth and their families. At age 20, Barry became a foster father with a local therapeutic agency to further help youth within his community. At age 22 he adopted his oldest son. Three years later, Barry's two younger sons were placed in his home, making him a proud father of three amazing young men. With these additions to his family, he closed his home after 7 years as an active foster parent. Today, as a single father, Barry is a Spokesman for Adopt Us Kids, Foster Care Adoption Advocate for children awaiting adoption, Speaker, Mentor, Podcast Host of The Barry Farmer Show and The FosterCare & Adoption Life talk Web Series, as well as the Creator/Administrator of one of the largest online support group for Foster Care and Adoptive families.
Conflict Circumvention [with guest, R. China Jackson]
During this episode, China Jackson and I define Conflict Circumvention and how it’s different from conflict resolution. We also discuss ways teachers, foster parents and service providers can teach young people to circumvent their conflicts. China and I also talk about some of his other film and music projects.
China Jackson holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Trine University and has over eight years of practical experience as a program coordinator for both conflict resolution and literacy enrichment programs which serve inner city schools.
Interview with Eric V. Johnson
During this episode, Eric and I will discuss how he builds supports and advocacy within the school district, and how this work impacts vulnerable families in Pasadena, California. We’ll also discuss the role mentors have played in his life, and his work as a Liaison for the DeVos Urban leadership Initiative.
Eric V. Johnson has served urban youth for over 40 years as a pastor/director/educator. He currently serves as the Director of Partnerships & Collaborations for Stars, where he is responsible for building support and advocacy within the school district around systemic issues impacting vulnerable families in Pasadena, California.
Born during the “Jim Crow era” in our country, he is the son of a law enforcement officer, who with his partners were part of a notoriously abusive culture with no accountability. As a result, he endured tremendous physical and emotional abuse at home and later became a victim of molestation. Through his mother’s intervention, the church became a refuge and at an early age committed his life to changing that culture.
“Pastors and mentors reached out to me as a teenager dealing with abuse and molestation. They gave me hope and let me see my God-given value. Ever since then my passion was to give that same hope to others.” This passion fuels his collaborative work which includes, administrating a Summer School on behalf of the local school district and serving as the Southern California Liaison for the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative.
Eric’s other passion is writing scripts for film, TV, animation and comics with his partners in their trans-media company, Blaqueink. “I love storytelling!! I love how this medium can impact people in a way that no pulpit can. I have no doubt that if Jesus was walking the Earth today, his parables would have been films and TV!” He pastors a house church with his wonderful wife, Ana Maria that reaches out to others in the industry.
Eric and Ana currently live in Arcadia. They have one daughter, Daniella, who is finishing her Masters program at USC in order to teach Special Needs students.
Single Foster Fathers [with guest, Andre Porter]
Andre Porter is a single foster father and works in a school district with alternative students who have intensive mental health needs. During this episode, Mr. Porter and I discuss resistance for being single foster fathers, we’ll talk about the challenges and successes of raising teen boys, and how we juggle career, personal life and home.
Corporate America has afforded many valuable lessons for everyday living. Nothing is more fulling nor rewarding than being a part of nurturing young men and giving them the tools for success - Now and beyond Foster Care !
Only by Divine guidance can such a task be fulfilled. In 1998, GOD told Andre Porter while house hunting " this home will be a Safe Haven for young men", later years GOD also spoke the words " although, he did not have a Father, I will use him to Father many". Some 40 plus Foster Care Placements later, he deems every young man in his care as a top priority. Insuring they are SAFE, COMFORTABLE and LOVED are the main components without compromise!
Working with Indiana Department of Corrections, Juvenile Probation, Indiana Department of Children Services, Warren School District, Mount Olive Church and the Department of Justice - having been exposed to support and resources that help place the "right youth in the right home (my home) " has proven beneficial.
Nothing is more important than making sure we are making a difference in the lives of our children. No excuses, make it happen !
Wishing he had the ability to support more youth in need of a home, For whatever the reason, the demand continues to grow !
A Chat with Bruce [with guest, Bruce Wooldridge]
Bruce Wooldridge is an adoptive parent and the Special Education Coordinator at Indianapolis Lighthouse Charter School South. During this episode, Bruce and I discuss negative stereotypes of scholars who receive special education services, he'll also suggest some exceptional methods to use with exceptional learners, and we’ll talk about his experiences as an adoptive and foster parent.
Bruce Wooldridge's passion for educating special education scholars was ignited in high school. He had the life changing opportunity to volunteer in the special education classroom. During this opportunity, Bruce realized all students have varied learning ability, and he wanted to help them reach their highest ability. Bruce's educational path led him to Western Kentucky University, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in 2001 in Exceptional Education with an emphasis in learning and behavior disorders. Being a lifelong learning, Bruce furthered his education by earning a Master’s Degree in Education and Principal Licensure. Bruce Wooldridge served as the Director of Special Education of the Charles A. Tindley Network Schools. His current educational role is the Special Education Coordinator at Indianapolis Lighthouse Charter School South. Bruce's commitment to destroying the negative sterotypes of special education scholars and improving the instruction to all scholars fuels his passion. Bruce is married to a special education teacher, Annette Wooldridge and they have five children together.
Kirsh & Kirsh [with guest, Attorney Grant Kirsh]
Grant is an adoption attorney with his family’s law firm Kirsh & Kirsh and the proud sponsor of this podcast. During this episode, Grant and I discuss non-traditional families that adopt, lies and misconceptions about adopting, and what motivates him to be a support to the cause of fostering and adopting.
Growing up as the son of an adoption attorney, Grant Kirsh has been surrounded by adoption his entire life. As a second generation adoption attorney, he enjoys continuing his family’s legacy in Indiana.
Grant grew up in Carmel, Indiana, graduating from Carmel High School, Indiana University for his Bachelor’s Degree, and Indiana University School of Law for law school. He is married to Emley, whom he has known since high school, and they have two lovely children: Anna & Brogan.
Grant loves his family very much and enjoys spending the weekends with them on the lake, walking on the Monon and playing in the yard. Grant, Emley and Anna have 3 dogs – Daisy, India, & Jake.