The Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley held a Panel Discussion on Feb. 12 at the Ludlow Country Club on the foster care system in Western Massachusetts and youth who experience significant barriers as it relates to their physical, mental and emotional well-being — all of which dramatically impact their ability to achieve adult self-sufficiency. Sincere thanks to Moderator Andrea Bordenca, panelists Daisy Acosta, Lashanda Stone and Ginger Elliot (in for Stefany Schaefer), as well as several other attendees who work with foster youth in some capacity. Their dedication and passion showed through. Key takeaways included:
Due to a lack of volunteers, more than half of youth in foster care do not get all the support they need during a traumatic time in their lives.

Opportunities range from sharing the needs and advocating for change, working behind the scenes to donate money and collect items needed by foster youth, volunteering time and talent to be a resource in the system, getting trained to be a foster care provider and mentoring youth who age out of the foster care system,

We invite all caring individuals in Western Massachusetts to check out the continuum of opportunities at www.zontqv.org/foster and decide how you might be able to support youth in need.

Mary F. Knight
Communication Chair
Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley