When Joy Singleton attends Board of Directors meetings at Angels Foster Family Network, she brings with her a lifetime of experience. Not only did she spend five years of her childhood in foster care, but she also went on to become an advocate for foster care reform after graduating from University of California, Berkeley and Yale Law School.
Today she serves on the Board at Angels where she offers legal expertise on court proceedings that are sometimes involved with foster care. She has worked on the national and state level in foster care reform and said she wanted to become more involved in her local community. The decision to join Angels was an easy one since the agency had long been on Joy’s radar as a place that offered high-level service to people fostering infants and toddlers. Her values and Angels’ philosophy line up perfectly. Joy believes that one of the greatest reforms to foster care would be to ensure that every child lives in a family setting rather than a group home. This is one of the core tenets of Angels. And finally, Joy knew that Angels would value her experience in the foster care system.
Joy and her sisters were removed from their home when Joy was ten, was reunified with her parents, and then was removed again at 13. She remained in foster care until she turned 18. Her parents were not able to care for their daughters due to their drug use. Joy kept in touch with her parents and has a close relationship with her father who has been sober for more than 20 years.
After college, Joy went to work for the Youth Law Center, a nonprofit that works to improve the lives of children in foster care and the juvenile justice systems. She advocated in Congress, the California Legislature, and in state and local agencies. She also worked for California Youth Connection where she trained other foster youth to advocate for change based on their firsthand experience in foster care.
Today, Joy lives in Encinitas, and she remains close with her sisters and with her extended foster family, including six foster brothers and sisters. Her experiences in foster care instilled in her a passion for helping foster children and youth.
“I have a lifelong connection to foster care,” says Joy. “And Angels has a deep understanding that good foster parents don’t just need support but they also need to be valued and given respect for the work they do. Angels provides a wonderful community for foster children and foster parents.”