10 News: Who failed our children? Former foster parent speaks

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Ashley Rhodes – Courter says she knows first hand about the death of a child.

“We saw are kids sent back to these homes they were taken away from, and pray nothing would happen, then it did,” says Rhodes-Courter, a child welfare advocate.

Rhodes-Courter was a foster parent for Jenica Randazzo, who was killed by a family member after being put back into the care of her grandparents. Continue reading

Dallas CASA to feature Ashley Rhodes-Courter at its fundraising dinner

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Dallas CASA will present best-selling author Ashley Rhodes-Courter and honor AT&Tand its employees at a fundraising dinner Oct. 14 at The Fairmont Dallas.

The charity, which helps abused children navigate the legal system, will give the annual Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award to AT&T. The prize pays tribute to the company’s financial support as well as the 800 volunteer hours logged annually by its employees. AT&T chairman and CEO Randall L. Stephenson will accept the award. Continue reading

Three More Words, Three Little Words: A Good Book and Essay Contest

Three Little Words is eye-opening, breathtaking and painful. A young woman tells her story of growing up in the foster care system here in West/Central Florida, eventually ending up at Tampa Children’s Home before she is finally adopted after spending nearly 10 years in foster care. The memoir account of Ashley Rhodes-Courter has been widely acclaimed since it was published in 2008. She tells her unique story, but thousands of others must have their own variations, some happier, some more tragic than others.

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‘Three Little Words’ A Must-Read for Child Welfare Professionals

The odds seemed to be stacked against Ashley Rhodes Carter. Born to a teenage mother in Florida in 1985 and removed from her mother at the age of three, she spent ten years in 14 different homes, surviving abuse, neglect, and separation from her brother.

Three_Little_Words

But Ashley defeated the odds. Adopted at the age of 12, Ashley completed high school, went to college on a full scholarship, and obtained a master’s in social work. In 2008, Ashley published Three Little Words, chronicling her harrowing journey through the child welfare system and her eventual adoption by a family whose loving care enabled her to blossom into an accomplished and successful adult.

I just discovered this book, which is surprisingly classified as Young Adult. But Three Little Words should be required reading for any child welfare professional. Ashley’s story illustrates some ways that things have improved and some ways they haven’t, and casts light on debates that are still raging. People should know that adoption is not just to find adoption legal service, complete the procedures and gain ownership, but to develop love and togetherness. 

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10 News: Ashley Rhodes-Courter, author of “Three More Words”

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In her undeniably honest and inspiring memoir Three Little Words, we were captivated by Ashley Rhodes-Courter, an amazing young woman who—through nine years, forty-four caseworkers, and fourteen foster homes—”not only survived, she thrived” (Teen People).

Since then Rhodes-Courter has become an international advocate for adoption and child welfare. She has been interviewed by Diane Sawyer and spoken on Capitol Hill. She was called upon to run for Florida State Senate. She became a foster and adoptive parent, helping children just like herself. And she has begun to come to terms with her past.

THREE MORE WORDS explains how the foster kid who refused to slip through the cracks has begun to change the world. Continue reading

Part Two: New York Times Best-Selling Author Refuses to Be Silenced by Gag Order

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Ashley Rhodes-Courter’s life came full circle five years ago when she and her husband Erick became foster parents in Florida’s Tampa Bay area.  Ashley, a New York Times best-selling author of two books – Three Little Words and Three More Words respectively – had spent nearly 10 years in foster care before her adoption at age 12.  Part One of this series described why Ashley and Erick surrendered their foster parent license, rather than sign a “gag order” that would have prevented them from speaking publicly about the gruesome murder of a former foster child.

Foster Parents Still Disrespected

Perhaps the most surprising part of being a foster parent for Ashley was the lack of respect foster parents must still endure – despite Tampa Bay’s “Fostering Respect Hotline” or Florida’s “Quality Parenting Initiative” to correct this problem. Although foster parents are promised to be treated as partners, she found the opposite to be true. Especially when voicing safety concerns to child welfare professionals about case management decisions. Continue reading

Adopting Teens and Tweens Radio Forum: Ashley Rhodes Courter

Posted on by Pat O’Brien

Author of her new memoir “Three More Words”, Ashley Rhodes-Courter is our guest this evening. Since we interviewed her about her first book on March 2, 2008, a lot has happened in Ashley’s life. A CASA Advocate, foster and adoptive mom, birth mom, professional social worker, and founder of a not-for-profit organization. Listen to this interview catching up with Ashley’s life. Ashley also offers personal reflection about how having adoptive parents enhance her life even as she approaches her 30th year.

 

Then, after listening, run out and pick-up Three More Words: http://www.amazon.com/Three-More-Words-Ashley-Rhodes-Courter/dp/1481415573 Pat O’Brien and Chester Jackson hosts

 

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WLRN: Ashley Rhodes-Courter author of “Three More Words” a memoir about foster care and adoption

JUL 20, 2015

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07/20/15- On Monday’s Topical Currents we visit with a child welfare advocate who started her work early:  at age 14.

Ashley Rhodes-Courter entered Florida’s foster care system at age three.  She was shuttled between 14 foster homes—some abusive–before adoption at age 12. She’s written two remarkable memoirs and is in the forefront of the child welfare movement. We’ll hear her story Monday, at 1pm.

JPR: “Three More Words” About Foster Care

JUL 9, 2015

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Ashley Rhodes lived in a foster home.  Then another, and another, and so on.

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14 foster homes in all, before she was adopted at age 12.

Now Ashley Rhodes-Courter, she speaks and writes about her experiences, and the successful life she’s built in spite of years of neglect and abuse in the foster system in Florida.

Her second memoir is Three More Words(after the earlier Three Little Words).

Ashley joins us with the story of her own foster system experiences, and a broader view of how she’d like to see the system change.

WGBB 1240: Adopting Teens & Tweens Radio Show

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Author of her new memoir “Three More Words”, Ashley Rhodes-Courter is our guest this evening. Since we interviewed her about her first book on March 2, 2008, a lot has happened in Ashley’s life. A CASA Advocate, foster and adoptive mom, birth mom, professional social worker, and founder of a not-for-profit organization. Listen to this interview catching up with Ashley’s life. Ashley also offers personal reflection about how having adoptive parents enhance her life even as she approaches her 30th year. Then, after listening, run out and pick-up Three More Words: http://www.amazon.com/Three-More-Words-Ashley-Rhodes-Courter/dp/1481415573 Pat O’Brien and Chester Jackson hosts

Play Radio Show Here