Seen Out Loud

Seen Out Loud

Seen Out Loud is a show about disrupting the child welfare system by the simple act of seeing families in their full humanity. I’m your host Matt Anderson. I am incredibly curious about people’s stories and endlessly impatient with the status quo. I’ve witnessed how seeing people for who they truly are, and learning from their stories, offers new perspectives and compelling insights that can lead to radical transformation of America’s foster care system. Join me in listening to families share deeply personal stories about their experiences with the child welfare system. Hear them express how the moments they were finally seen and valued shaped the trajectories of their lives. In this podcast, I accompany these stories with conversations about the work happening on the front lines of the family well-being movement—a collective effort aimed at meeting the needs of families to prevent systems intervention and the removal of children from parents. Hear leaders of the movement describe how they are actively building a future where families are engaged in systems work and have what they need to stay together and thrive.My life’s work has been dedicated to listening to and serving families. I have a master’s degree in social work and nearly 20 years of collective experience in youth engagement, child welfare practice, public policy, organizational leadership, and documentary film production. I am the director of Institute for Family, a division of Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, which uses the power of storytelling and collective thinking to elevate and prioritize family well-being.

Episodes

July 27, 2022 47 min

Sarah Winograd’s journey as a “professional volunteer” led to the realization that poverty was a driving factor in the child removals in the families she was working with. See how Sarah mobilized her community to address family poverty to help families stay together. Through the Together for Families program, Sarah lives out her vision of supporting families by helping them meet basic needs.
Show Notes
00:00:30  | Matt opens this ep...

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Cherie Craft, the founding CEO and Executive Director of Smart from the Start, talks about her organization’s unique approach to engaging communities and addressing conditions to enhance child and family well-being. Cherie references a previous episode of Seen Out Loud with Matthew Jackson to explain how Smart from the Start builds trust with families. Cherie also offers advice for other organizational leaders on relationship build...

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In this episode, Matthew Jackson explains how the community conditions he grew up in influenced the trajectory of his life into adulthood, and the difficulties he experienced with leaving “Jungle” in the past and charting a new path for the betterment of his family. Listen as Matthew shares his story as a single father, passionately invested in his daughter’s life, and how he’s helping other dads, with similar beginnings in Boston,...

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Keri Hope Richmond, Child Welfare Policy Advocate, Speaker, and Podcast Host, joins Matt Anderson in conversation on engaging storytellers with lived experience with the child welfare system. Listen as Keri talks about her experiences sharing her story about navigating foster care—some empowering and some not—and the lessons she’s learned along the way. She also passes along advice to organizations on the do’s and don’t’s in engagi...

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Pick up where part one left off with Sana L. Cotten on her journey to find answers about her family history. In this episode, Sana, who has never met her father, goes on a 10-year search to locate her paternal family and find belonging. She reflects on how her unfulfilled need for family connection after entering foster care has impacted her through adulthood. Matt Anderson shares thoughts about the importance of being mindful of t...

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Determined to discover where she came from, Sana L. Cotten recalls her ventures to uncover her past, face her family’s trauma, and reconnect with relatives who are part of her story. Hear from Sana how the process of learning about her birth family after adoption has helped her break generational cycles, shape her identity, and begin a journey to healing through empathy. 

Trigger Warning: Descriptions of rape and sex trafficking

Sho...

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Gina Wassemiller is a mother of three and a passionate parent ally. In the short film “Being Gina” she shares her evolution from being a parent struggling with substance use disorder, domestic abuse, and the removal of her children to being a leader at the F.I.R.S.T. Legal Clinic. This organization supports new mothers experiencing substance use challenges with legal advocacy and other services to prevent Child Protective Services ...

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Dr. Bruce Perry and Matt pick up from their conversation in Season 1 to dive deeper into strategies for creating positive change for families. Hear Dr. Bruce Perry give his advice for organizations like the Institute for Family on what it takes to make an impact—from shifting mindsets through storytelling to creating sustainable connections in communities.

Show Notes 

00:02:00  | Picking up from S1 E3: PEOPLE CHANGE THROUGH STORIES,...

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On this bonus episode celebrating social work month, Jaquia Wilson returns to the mic with her former social worker Raven Mitchell. Hear from Jaquia and Raven about the solid foundation they built during Jaquia’s time in foster care. Get insight on the importance of relationship-building between youth in care and social workers and how impactful Raven has been on Jaquia’s early years. 

Show Notes 

00:00:36  | On S1, E5: CRACK THE CON...

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February 10, 2022 21 min

Reimaging child welfare starts with looking inward. On this bonus episode, get to know more about host Matt Anderson as he provides candid responses to listener questions about reimaging child welfare, the power of listening, and his source of hope. 

Call in with your questions and reactions at (512) 815-3956.

00:01:45  | Adrian McLemore, Program Officer, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Host, FosterStrong Podcast: What keeps you hope...

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November 19, 2021 33 min

From the national to community level, hear how the movement to prioritize family well-being is gaining momentum. In this season finale, Matt interviews three guests to hear the types of conversations taking place across the country around supporting families and recognizing their value. Jerry Milner, former Associate Commissioner at the Children’s Bureau, shares his perspective on the progress of the child welfare transformation wo...

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November 10, 2021 45 min

Brett and Jessica Crisp have been married for over a decade and have a 9-year-old adopted son. They served as licensed foster parents with Children’s Home Society of North Carolina from 2016 to 2020. Through their experiences as adoptive parents and former foster parents, they have become advocates for reunification, as well as parents and foster parents working together.

SHOW NOTES
00:01:25  | How do children in foster care bond wit...

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November 3, 2021 37 min

Hear what life was like for Jaquia Wilson, the youngest of nine children, who went from growing up with a loving mother in the Bronx to aging out of foster care without a support system. Jaquia demonstrates resilience through a series of tragedies, resulting in her entering foster care as a teenager. With a little help from a caring social worker, Jaquia’s fighting spirit leads her to college and, now, advocacy work for youth in ca...

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Hear from Alise Morrissey about the impacts of individuals—a volunteer, a judge, an attorney, and a program leader—who offered glimmers of hope by seeing her for who she was instead of her circumstances. Alise tells her story of going from straight-A student to giving birth amidst a prison sentence. She reveals how her faith, the people who showed her kindness, and the determination of being there for her child led to recovery from...

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October 20, 2021 33 min

Systems change when people change. And people change through stories. Dr. Bruce Perry candidly offers compelling insights on the power and science of storytelling. This episode demonstrates how some of the most important things we can do to improve family well-being and change systems starts with listening.

Show Notes: 
01:45  | Matt shares his origin story as a caseworker and shares what happened when he stepped back from his soci...

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October 18, 2021 38 min

Shrounda Selivanoff takes us on a journey from childhood to motherhood, including a head-on collision with the child welfare system. Hear from Shrounda on how being seen and acknowledged for who she was changed her life forever. Shrounda is a passionate mother, kinship caregiver, and parent ally who inspires and helps other parents who experience the system through her work as public policy director at Children’s Home Society of Wa...

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Spoken word poet, Slam Anderson, and her mom, Lillie Lee-Williams, engage in an emotional conversation with host Matt Anderson that demonstrates the strength of family bonds despite a 14-year child welfare-initiated separation. This episode questions what would happen if the child welfare system was designed to support root causes of family stress instead of waiting for late-stage intervention. Plus, Slam recites her spoken word po...

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September 29, 2021 2 min

Seen Out Loud, formerly Seen and Heard, is a show about disrupting the child welfare system by the simple act of seeing families in their full humanity. Listen to their stories with your host Matt Anderson. Tune in weekly to hear new perspectives and compelling insights that can lead to the radical transformation of America’s foster care system. 

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