Get Real is an educational and supportive group for teens in foster care that provides a safe place to share experiences and explore feelings about foster care and adoption. The group is co-led by a member of the Adoption Network Cleveland staff and a young adult who aged out of foster care or was adopted from foster care, and can share personal challenges and accomplishments with teens who are currently in foster care.
Get Real provides a great opportunity for teens to listen to others share their experience; to talk about their own experiences of foster care; and to share their hopes for the future in a safe and supportive environment.
Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month for girls and the second Tuesday of the month for boys at the Maple Heights Library. Each session includes a light supper and activities. The group is open to teens 14 and older who are in permanent custody in Cuyahoga County.
For more information about Get Real or to make a referral for a youth, contact Donikea Austin, Program Coordinator–Youth Services, at (216) 482-2334 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for a 2019 Get Real flyer.
2019 Get Real Dates & Topics
Click on the date to find out more information on the topic.
Topic: Keys to a New Year
January 3 (Girls) and 7 (Boys)
Topic: Keys to a New Year: Youth will understand the importance of emotional and behavioral growth. They will identify goals for improving behaviors, changing attitudes etc. and identify skills they will use to meet those goals.
Topic: Love You, Like You (Relationships and Boundaries)
February 7 (Girls) and 12 (Boys)
Topic: Love You, Like You (Relationships and Boundaries): Youth will identify challenges in maintaining relationships, and problem solve ways of dealing with those challenges. Youth will gain an understanding of how to create meaningful close emotional connections to others while learning effective communication in healthy relationships.
Topic: Pushing Buttons (Conflict Resolution)
March 7 (Girls) and 12 (Boys)
Topic: Pushing Buttons (Conflict Resolution): Youth will identify triggers to feelings of anger. Develop an understanding of the cycle of conflict. Identity various effective conflict resolution/mediation tools to negotiate conflict in a constructive manner.
Topic: Get a Job! (Summer Planning and Career Exploration)
April 4 (Girls) and 9 (Boys)
Topic: Get a Job! (Summer Planning and Career Exploration): Youth will explore summer opportunities; including employment. They will discuss job applications, learn how to write a resume, practice their interview skills and will be provided with resources to assist them in the job search process.
Topic: National Foster Care Month - Your Questions Answered
May 2 (Girls) and 7 (Boys)
Topic: National Foster Care Month - Your Questions Answered: Youth will gain an improved understanding of how the foster care system works and how they can become better advocates for themselves while becoming more involved in the decision making processes. A guest speaker TBA will be in attendance to provide more insight into the court process for youth.
Topic: Halfway There (New Year's Goal Check-in)
June 6 (Girls) and 11 (Boys)
Topic: Halfway There (New Year's Goal Check-in): Youth will assesses goals set in January and share on progress made. Youth will identify pitfalls to meeting their goals and gain support and tips from their peers to stay on track throughout the year. Youth will discuss managing expectations of themselves and identify ways they can stay motivated to complete long term goals.
Topic: Too Many Rules (Rules and Boundaries)
July 9 - Boys and Girls Together
Topic: Too Many Rules (Rules and Boundaries): Youth will learn the role rules and boundaries at home and in the community play in creating a healthy environment. Youth will identify their own rules and boundaries and how they relay this to others appropriately.
Topic: Pick One (Decision Making)
August 1 (Girls) and 13 (Boys)
Topic: Pick One (Decision Making): Youth will learn how to make more positive choices through thoughtful decision making strategies. They will learn to identify emotions being actions and brainstorm various solutions to problems. Youth will learn how to reflect on past experiences and relate them to current decision making processes.
Topic: What's Going On? (Social Awareness)
September 5 (Girls) and 10 (Boys)
Topic: What's Going On? (Social Awareness): Youth will develop an awareness of empathy skills and how they relate to continuing positive relationships with others. Youth will practice perspective taking, and develop a respect for the unique experiences of others. These skills can be applied to those in the home as well as in the community to strengthen healthy interactions with others.
Topic: Who Are You? (Self-Awareness)
October 3 (Girls) and 8 (Boys)
Topic: Who Are You? (Self-Awareness): Youth will explore their own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. Youth will discuss self-perception versus how others perceive them and how they can reconcile these differences. Youth will identify their own strengths and limitations and practice activities that promote self-esteem.
Topic: The Game of Life (Supports)
November 7 (Girls) and 12 (Boys)
Topic: The Game of Life (Supports): Youth will identify how they fit into the larger community and learn how to access community resources to help overcome obstacles youth may encounter in their life as they transition from their foster home. Youth will be challenged to utilize critical thinking and decision making skills as well as their strengths as they “solve” the simulated life scenarios they encounter as they navigate the game of LIFE.
Topic: Traditions and Celebrations - Holiday Party
December 5 (Girls) and 10 (Boys)
Topic: Traditions and Celebrations - Holiday Party: Youth will understand traditions, identify and share their family traditions and explore how they have stayed the same or changed while they are in foster care. Participants will enjoy the sessions celebrating the season with their peers.