Andrew Zinn is an Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare and an Affiliated Faculty at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Prior to receiving his PhD, Dr. Zinn served as an independent living program coordinator for foster youth and child welfare case manager in Rock County, WI. His research has focused on foster family care, the juvenile court, and the service needs and outcomes of foster youth.
Panel 1: Social Connections with Family, Peers & Intimate Partners
Andrew Zinn, PhD
Susan Grundberg, MSW, MPA
Susan is the Executive Director/CEO of You Gotta Believe! The Older Child Adoption and Permanency Movement, Inc. (YGB). YGB is one of the few agencies in the country and the only agency in NYC that works solely to connect teens and young adults to permanent families before they age out of foster care and face the extremely high risk of homelessness and other dire outcomes. Having started out as a foster care caseworker in 1989, Susan has spent more than 25 years in child welfare in both Chicago and New York City. Between 1999 and 2009, she served in a number of positions with the City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), including four years as Associate Commissioner for Child Welfare Programs.
Anni Keane is a foster care alumnus who has worked in the foster care system for over 13 years. She is a fierce advocate for youth and has touched the lives of hundreds of youth in care through her direct service and advocacy on their behalf. Anni is the Director of You Gotta Believe’s Nobody Ages Out Youth Movement. In this capacity, she leads the core group of alumni Advocates for Youth – all working to change the system with a laser focus on permanency. Using their personal stories, the team advocates with public officials and child welfare leaders, works directly with young people in care, delivers workshops to youth and caseworkers, and co-facilitates all foster/adoptive parent training. Anni spent time in the foster care system during her childhood, was placed into her permanent family at 17, and chose to be legally adopted at 24. She has been sharing her story publicly for many years on a local and national level, including as a panelist at a US Senate Caucus on Foster Youth and Homelessness. She is a powerful speaker and a source of ongoing support and inspiration to her team and to youth throughout the child welfare system.
Rosie is currently 22 and serves as an Advocate for Youth with You Gotta Believe’s Nobody Ages Out Youth Movement. Rosie entered foster care as a baby of just 8 months and over the next 20 years was in more than 30 foster care placements, including foster homes, group homes, residential treatment centers and hospitals. At the age of 19 Rosie met a woman named Danielle who made a commitment of unconditional love and support to her, and who she calls ‘Mom.’ She successfully obtained her GED and believes she was able to focus on that important milestone because of the support and encouragement (and late night tutoring) that she received from Danielle. Rosie works as an Advocate for Youth and shares her powerful, thoughtful message that family is every youth’s right because she does not want youth in the system to suffer the same losses or live through what she lived through.