FASD Hope is a podcast series about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), through the lens of parent advocates with over twenty years of lived experience.
November is National Adoption Month and FASD Hope is honored to highlight Andrew Bridge in Episode 162.
Leaving foster care at eighteen, Andrew Bridge attended Wesleyan University, then graduated from Harvard Law School and he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship. He began his legal career representing children in mental health facilities across Alabama. His work as an attorney and an advocate enforced children's constitutional rights to be free from staff abuse and to receive meaningful psychiatric care.
Andrew returned home to Los Angeles as the CEO of The Alliance for Children's Rights. He defended children at MacLaren Hall, where he was once confined. He won the right for Los Angeles' 60,000 foster children to speak publicly about their treatment. He investigated the excessive removal of African-American babies from their parents, which led to one of the first government initiatives to stop it. Andrew is the Co-Founder of National Adoption Day. He went on to lead one of California's largest recruiters of foster and adoptive parents.
Called to address the unjustified placement of foster children in mental institutions, Andrew has served as a Senior Advisor to the State of Illinois. His educational work resulted in the creation of New Village Girls Academy, California's first all-girls high school for parenting teens. Andrew serves on Arizona's Foster Care Review Board and he consults with child welfare systems and foundations.
Andrew is also the author of the New York Times AND Los Angeles Times BEST SELLER book, "Hope's Boy: A Memoir". The Washington Post named "Hope's Boy" one of it's Best Books of the Year, with a review that called it "filled with vivid scenes and empathetic description...compulsively readable".
In this THOUGHT-PROVOKING episode, Andrew shares: his personal journey and lived experience as a foster child in the Los Angeles Foster Care System, his journey in becoming an attorney and child rights advocate, insights and discussion points from "Hope's Boy", the punitive nature that was / still exists in child welfare systems, his thoughts on how to educate those in the child welfare system about FASD and other brain-based diagnoses, the beginnings of "National Adoption Day" in 2000 and how it's grown, his current work and initiatives and words of hope and encouragement.
EPISODE RESOURCES -
Andrew Bridge -
Hope’s Boy - https://hopesboy.com
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrew-bridge-667860210/
FASD Hope Resources -
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/fasdhope/
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Twitter - https://twitter.com/fasdhope
“HOPE FOR THE FASD JOURNEY COMMUNITY”, CO-LEAD BY NATALIE VECCHIONE AND SANDRA FLACH
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