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Episode 196: From Foster Youth to PhD (w/ Dr. Danisha Keating)

By August 14, 2023August 17th, 2023Podcast

This is your fault. If you want to stay out of foster care, you’d better behave. If you don’t change your attitude, then they’ll separate you from your siblings.

Can you imagine hearing these messages growing up? This is often the message that is conveyed to children from hard places or who are at risk of entering foster care. They grow up carrying around this guilt and believing they are why their families fell apart. But what they don’t always come to realize is that it was never their fault.

I am grateful to have Dr. Danisha Keating with me on the podcast as she shares her journey of growing up in an abusive and neglectful household where she cared for her siblings. Danisha is a former foster youth and was a guardian to five of her siblings as an adult. She loves to encourage foster care advocates and foster youth to go after their dreams and goals. While Danisha’s journey has not been an easy one, it has helped her find her life’s work.

This is one you don’t want to miss. Thank you for joining me for this conversation with Danisha!


1. It’s not your fault.

As a child, you are never the reason foster care occurs. It did not happen because of your behavior or something you did wrong. Children should not have to take on any guilt or responsibility for the circumstances that led to their entrance into foster care.

“It was like you are always forgotten. No one remembers you. You will be abandoned. And you carry that for the rest of your life.”

2. Children in foster care are at risk.

Children that enter into foster care often struggle with recognizing the characteristics of a safe relationship; sometimes they can even fall behind their peers academically or emotionally due to the trauma they have experienced. As such, children in foster care are at a higher risk of trafficking and being taken advantage of.

“The National Foster Youth Institute recently estimated that 60 percent of child sex trafficking victims have been within foster care (or another part of the larger child welfare system).”

3. You can only process in a safe environment.

If you were a child that was in foster care, it may take years before you can process what you went through in childhood. You may still feel the effects of the lies you believed or the messages that were communicated to you well into adulthood.

“It has taken 33 years to say that was never my fault.”



We hope this episode has helped you wherever you are on your foster care journey. That’s the goal! If so, will you tell others?

Share this post or rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts (or wherever you listen) and leave us a brief review

Meet Our Guest

Dr. Danisha Keating is a former foster youth, author, motivational speaker, and coach. When Danisha entered her teenage years DCS got involved and removed her and her siblings from their home due to abuse and neglect. While Danisha’s journey has not been an easy one, it has helped her find her life’s work. She loves to encourage foster care advocates and foster youth to go after their dreams and goals.

Foster Parents, check with your agency to see if listening to this podcast will count toward your foster care training hours!

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