“My children saved my life the second time. JF&CS saved my life the first time,” says Gladys Saslaw, a former JF&CS client reflecting on her time spent in JF&CS foster care in the 1950s. “My life would have been very different if the agency hadn’t stepped in.”
To say that Gladys had a difficult childhood would be an understatement. She was placed in state-run foster care at the age of four because her family was unable to provide for her, neither financially nor emotionally. Two years later, she was sent back to live with her birth parents, but having experienced life in a “normal home,” where there were three-course-meals, clean clothes, fun, and laughter, she knew there was something better out there for her and she longed for a return to that life. Life with her birth parents became ever more problematic, and by the age of 12, JF&CS became Gladys’ legal guardian. She was placed in JF&CS foster care and never came in contact with her birth parents again.
At age 18, after having lived in several foster homes, Gladys received money from the Max C. Rosenfeld Foundation to study at the Chandler School for Women. Although she was now out on her own, she credits JF&CS with giving her the tools to support herself and become financially independent. Gladys would eventually work as a bookkeeper and then as an accountant.