Former foster children demand changes with child welfare system

Pinellas County

Former foster children are speaking up and demanding changes be made to the child welfare system after the death of Jordan Belliveau.

“I’ve basically been in every county in Florida since I’ve been in foster care,” said Hope Austrie.

Austrie was in foster care for five years and moved from place to place.

She aged out in 2017.

Austrie is now 19-year-old.

She stayed glued to the coverage when Belliveau was missing.

“I think that it’s a very sad situation being that he was so young and basically just got reunified with his mom,” she said.

Austrie felt there was little help for her and case workers today still need more training.

“They’re coming in entry level and they’re getting paid a little bit, they’re going to do the bare minimal,” said Austrie.

Brice Trotta was in foster care for nearly five months.

He talked about violence and drug use in the group homes.

The teens he keeps in touch with now talk about running away.

“There definitely needs to be more emphasis on non profits and charities because it’s just not enough with the case workers, the turnover rate. You go through three or four cases. I’ve been through like four case workers,” said Trotta.

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