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Congressman Langevin Participates in 4th “Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Day”

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Congressman Jim Langevin, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, participated in the fourth annual "Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Day" on Tuesday, May 20.  

Blanca Merced of Johnston spent the day with Langevin, joining more than 60 other foster youth alumni from across the country that traveled to Capitol Hill to shadow members of Congress to share their experiences in the child welfare system. 

“I am thrilled to have Blanca in my office today. She went through a traumatic experience that no child should have to face, and yet she emerged strong and eager to advocate on behalf of other foster youth. Her story is one of resilience and is representative of the challenges faced by the nearly 400,000 children in foster care today,” said Langevin about the day.  

When Merced was six weeks old, she was removed from her mother's care and placed with her grandmother. At 15 years old, authorities then removed her from her grandmother's custody, citing an unsafe home environment. From that point, Merced was in and out of multiple foster home placements until she aged out of the system at 18.  

Merced met Langevin in his office on Wednesday morning to discuss foster care and what can be done to improve the system. 

"I became involved with the Foster Shadow Day because I want to be a pioneer for change in the foster care system in Rhode Island,” said Merced. 

Last month, Langevin introduced the Protecting Adopted Children Act, with the goal of ending the practice of adopted children being privately "re-homed" into the custody of strangers without any oversight. 

“All children deserve a safe, loving home and the opportunity to succeed. We can - and must - do more to ensure that is possible," Langevin added. 


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