Third Place, 2017 Vinny Prize – Fostering Connections

Third Place, 2017 Vinny Prize, Office of Mission and Values at DePaul University

Determined to break a vicious cycle of abuse, a young mother fights to create new beginnings for her biological and adopted children with the support of an innovative, multigenerational community.

Abused and neglected as a teenager, Micci Grainger fights to provide her biological and adopted children the safe and nurturing home she never experienced. The work is difficult; her adopted children themselves have been victims of abuse, neglect, and the professional indifference of the foster care system. Micci’s most difficult children are home-schooled, and she also operates a daycare center in her home. The work—raising and caring for so many children—is simply too much for Micci and her husband, Tim to handle on their own.

But Micci has help from an unlikely source: the ‘surrogate grandparents’ of Hope Meadows, an intentional, intergenerational community where senior citizens volunteer to work with adoptive families to help raise at-risk youth. Hope Meadows is a unique community, where neighbors do not just share cups of sugar; instead, they share the responsibility of raising children.

The film explores possible solutions to larger social issues – the involvement of the elderly in the care of children in the foster care system. It examines the life-altering possibilities adoptive families, at-risk youth and seniors experience when working toward a common goal.