Motivational and Inspirational Speaker for Foster Care - Child Welfare - Social Workers - Foster Parents - Conference Keynote Speaker

About Derek Clark – Speaker and Trainer


“The Spirit of a Child: From Rejection to Connection to Direction.” 

By Foster Care Speaker and Trainer Derek Clark

Executive Training Summary

Instructor: Derek Clark (raised by foster parents that were both teachers)


Derek Clark is a former foster child who grew up to become a popular motivational speaker. His personal story is one of resilience, rejection and redemption. Derek was abandoned into the foster care system where he would spend the next thirteen years of his life feeling rejected. Before entering foster care, Derek suffered unthinkable brutal child abuse and emotional distress before his parents abandoned him at a psychiatric hospital at five years old. His past reflects a life of humiliation, aggression, emotional distress and overwhelming anxiety.

Derek knows first hand on how to cope with adversity and overcoming hardship. Despite years of rage and fractured relationships, Derek grew up to become a successful businessman, motivational speaker and is highly committed to his wife and four children.

At five years old Derek’s mother and stepfather turned him over to the county social services but kept his brother and sister. Derek felt as if he had been deleted from his family. His father was in prison for the criminally insane. Psychiatric reports stated that at the age of five years old, Derek had severe behavioral problems and fascinations of extreme violence and death. Neurological reports stated that at six years old, he had the IQ of a two and a half year old and diagnosed him with erratic psychosis and overtly psychotic. Having also been misdiagnosed as mentally handicapped and having numerous emotional and language difficulties, Derek never gave up.

With the help of his awesome foster parents, a wonderful social worker, he defied the artificial limitations imposed upon him. Derek’s past has never held him back from accomplishing what he set his heart and mind to. From owning a very successful corporation to having a family, his maxim is to make no excuses.

Watch Derek Clark’s Inspiring TED Talk about his journey into the foster care system.

Derek Clark is an inspiring speaker/trainer, viral video sensation known as the Rapping Dad with millions of views and the author of Never Limit Your Life and the I Will Never Give Up book series. Derek has over 100 tracks on iTunes. His true-life trials and personal triumphs have inspired organizations throughout the United States, Australia, Mexico and Canada with his powerful message of hope and unwavering perseverance.

Summary of Derek Clark’s Uniquely Uplifting Workshop:

Derek Clark offers professionals involved with kids in the foster care system hope, stamina and the courage to improve ‘the system’. Derek trains and inspires professionals with this purpose; to make sure that each child feels important, to help them to reclaim their dignity, to feel secure, and to know that their past does not have to infect their future. Derek’s inspiring presentations are sure to touch the heart of every foster parent and child welfare professional.

When Derek speaks, it is from his passionate soul. He brings along his guitar to sing the journals of his life. He believes that music is one of the purest ways to touch and communicate with the hearts of the audience. His audience will be ignited with passion and have the courage to take action and fight their fears. He will inspire and teach you to push yourself beyond your perceived limits. The story of Derek’s life is truly amazing. Even against unbelievable odds, Derek never gave up. Derek’s presentations have an informative message of hope and perseverance. His mission is to help others find strength and solutions for their own lives.

Outline of Workshop:

  • · You Cannot Think Negative About a Child and Expect a Positive Outcome
  • · If You Will Believe, The Child/Youth Will Achieve!
  • · How To Build Trust, When They Won’t Trust
  •   From Rejection to Connection to Direction
  • · How To Inspire Youth to Find the Strength to Overcome Adversity
  • · How To Plant Seeds of Courage In a Child’s Mind
  • · Why a Foster Child or a Troubled Youth Needs YOU To Believe In Them
  • · How Having Hope Activates Life For Those In Despair
  • · The Worth of a Soul and How To Find The Leader Within
  • · How Words and Labels Kill The Spirit of a Child
  • · How To Help a Child Discover The Will To Thrive Despite a Painful Past

Outline of Training:

This workshop is designed to implement positive change by presenting startling facts based on Derek’s personal experience from surviving severe child abuse and being misdiagnosed mentally handicapped throughout the first 8 years of his life. He has survived rejection. He has felt his mothers “conditional love” as she dropped him off at the county shelter but kept his brother and sister. Derek takes you down his road of hate, anger, mistrust in adults, violent tendencies, rejection, lack of love, child abuse and the memories that haunted his life. He believes that by changing the way you look at a child or youth, you can significantly impact their life. Your actions will speak louder than your words.

He teaches on the subject matter, “You cannot think negative thoughts about a child and expect them to live a positive life.” He teaches you how to commit and build upon your strengths when encouraging youth to have hope. He also teaches you how to overcome negative thinking towards a specific Foster Child or Troubled Youth. The Leaders need to know that they do make a difference if they put their heart into it.

Derek takes you on a journey through his life. His inspiring event is a collection of thoughts, case histories, poems, journal entries and hard lessons that he has learned. He sings his songs of vulnerability and triumph as a way to connect with the audience’s heart. He believes that the purest way to touch a person is not only speaking to them but also singing to their soul so that the heart empowers the mind. Many of the lyrics to his songs were written in his darkest and loneliest hours as his past caught up to him as an adult. These songs are his reactions to the struggles life has thrown at him. By setting the good example of personal strength and by having courageous and insightful thoughts, you and your foster child will prevail.



This Workshop is intended to provide knowledge, inspiration and personal development for the following:

  • · Child Welfare Professionals and Administrators
  • · Social Workers
  • · Foster Parents/Adoptive Parents
  • · Foster Children and Youth
  • · CASA Volunteers and Staff
  • · Family Court Personnel
  • · Group Home Staff
  • · Residential Treatment Center Staff
  • · Mental Health Professionals
  • · Teachers
  • · Youth Development Staff
  •   Department of Children and Family Services
  •   Child Protective Services – CPS


Ways that Supervisors can support the Transfer of Learning:

 Before The Training:


1. Overwhelmed and not enough Belief in their abilities

2. Have lost hope and the energy to continue to have optimism

3. Feeling that they are not making a difference or connecting

4. At a loss on how to overcoming the child’s obstacles

5. Want to give up


After The Training:


1. Will be inspired and re-energized to have hope again as they will

see where Derek came from to where he is now in life.

2. They will have examples of what a difference they can make in

their child/youth and connect with them.

3. Their box of obstacles will have been broken down. They will

see the child as an individual that has a bright future.

4. They will be rejuvenated within their spirit and have faith in their



Contact Information: Derek Clark

Phone Number: 1-800-980-0751




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