When Derek Clark speaks, audiences are inspired by his amazing story of overcoming great adversity. Derek is popular motivational speaker for many county departments of children and family services and child abuse prevention conferences. His story is riveting and packed with courage, determination and hope. Growing up in an economical impoverished environment and suffering brutal child abuse at the hands of his parents, Derek was eventually abandoned into the San Francisco bay area foster care system.
The statistics for children and youth in the California foster care system are not good. A lot of the youth end up in the juvenile justice system which then is a feeder into the penitentiary system. Derek was able to navigate away from the normal statistics with some great help from his loving foster parents and a wonderful social worker. They both believed in Derek’s potential and worked with him to believe that he had greatness within.
When Derek delivers his conference keynote speeches, he touches on the topics of connecting with the vulnerable and grieving children and youth as well as building relationships of trust. Most youth in the foster care system are not interested in trusting as they have been let down over and over again. Derek speaks from his passionate soul so that audience members know they have the potential of connecting with a child and making positive difference in their lives.
Child welfare professionals get burnt out. It is a tough job! When Derek teaches them some of the amazing tools that others used to connect with him, employees get rejuvenated. Derek’s story connects with the audience as if they were looking after him as a little boy. That connection offers strength emotionally and soulfully, igniting their passion to help children in foster care have a positive outcome. They are hopeful instead of hopeless.
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