Improbable, but Not Impossible: Tillman Scholars Discuss Foster Care Awareness Month

Blog | 05/31/2023

May is Foster Care Awareness Month, a time to acknowledge children and youth in foster care and the family members, foster parents, volunteers, mentors, child welfare professionals, and policymakers who help them find permanent homes and connections. According to The Children’s Bureau, there are more than 391,000 children and youth in foster care. The 2023 Foster Care Awareness Month theme is “Strengthening Minds, Uplifting Families,” highlighting the need to strengthen the capacity of families to nurture and provide for the mental health and well-being needs of their children.

To close out this month, we brought together four Tillman Scholars who shared their own experiences as part of the foster care system. CEO and 2011 Tillman Scholar Dan Futrell leads the conversation with Thomas Murphy (2022 Tillman Scholar), Dr. Trillitye Paullin (2014 Tillman Scholar) and Chris Sawyers (2021 Tillman Scholar) as they share unique perspectives into the past, present, and future conditions of the foster care system. While their perspectives and experiences are unique from each other, the four are connected through their military service, their commitment to impact as Tillman Scholars, and their unwavering belief in the future of those who lived in or currently are part of the foster care system.

Check out their conversation below: