FOUNDER SHALITA O'NEALE
Shalita graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with a BA in criminology and also holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Maryland Baltimore.
Mrs. O'Neale founded Fostering Change Network LLC in 2012 as a way to use her 13 years of experience child welfare training, program development and advocacy to connect young professionals with foster care histories, like herself, through local and national professional networking events such as the Alumni Powerhouse Networking Conferences (APNC), that have taken place in Maryland, California and New York City since 2015. Her desire to help adults from foster care secure resources that will allow them to contribute to the economic development in their communities led her to found the Fostering Change Network Foundation
Shalita is also the Founder of Hope Forward, Inc., now a program of Fedcap Rehabilitation Services established in 2008, based in Baltimore City that worked with transitioning and former foster youth (ages 17-25) to connect them to housing, education, employment and supportive networks. Mrs. O'Neale currently serves at the Foster Youth Ombudsman for the Maryland Department of Human Services.
In 2011, she was honored as one of The Daily Record’s 20 In Their Twenties and the BFree Daily’s 2nd Annual 10 People to Watch Under 30, the Prince Georges County Social Innovation Fund’s 2015 Forty Under 40, featured in the 2013 October issue of Baltimore Magazine’s 40 Under 40 and honored by the Baltimore Business Journal in 2014 as one of their Forty Under 40. Mrs. O’Neale also serves on the Children’s Justice Act Committee (CJAC) and the Board of the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau. Mrs. O’Neale is also a Graduate of the Greater Baltimore Committee’s 2013 Leadership Program.
FOSTERING CHANGE NETWORK FOUNDATION BOARD MEMBERS
ALUMNI POWERHOUSE NETWORKING CONFERENCE
The purpose of APNC is to bring entry to mid-level professionals and entrepreneurs from across the country (and in 2018, internationally) who have experienced the foster care system to a supportive, professional space where they will promote their business endeavors, get feedback from other foster care alumni on how to build and expand their businesses (and non-profits), and connect professionally and personally with other adult professionals from foster care.
GLOBAL AMBASSADORS PROGRAM
The purpose of the FCN Foundation Global Ambassadors Program is to help Alumni of foster care become efficient and credible advocates and leaders in the child welfare community globally by placing them through a 12-month Fellowship that will assist them in creating and implementing solutions that will improve programming/services for children and youth living in out of home care.
The Global Ambassadors Program will connect Fellows with Alumni Coaches, mindset training and support them in gaining access to the social capital, seed funding and technical assistance that will further develop them into professionals that community organizations and agencies will find valuable and necessary to their work with youth in and from foster care.
Six Degrees of Foster Care Campaign
Six Degrees of Foster Care (SDFC) Campaign is a movement led by Alumni of the Foster Care system from around the world for the benefit of the FCN Foundation and similar organizations led by Alumni of foster care. It seeks to raise awareness of how connected the general public is to the foster care community and will dispel the myths about children in and adults from the foster care system and highlight just how productive we really are.