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October 6, 2020

Episode 58: Quay Bowen, Foster Care Survivor

On this week’s Fostering Change podcast, Rob and Dana talk to foster care survivor Quay Brown. Now a writer and advocate for children in the system, Quay tells the story of her traumatic childhood growing up in and out of Atlanta’s child welfare system. She suffered emotional abuse with her biological family and struggled to get an education while living in group homes and on the street. She is now a proud mother and college graduate, and she hopes to publish a book to tell her story.

Follow Quay on her Facebook page at

Also follow her blog, Brain Stew, at her brand-new website where she’ll be posting about topics relevant to foster care, social justice, neuroscience, society, culture, and media. You can also read excerpts from her book, Driftwood.


Quay graduated from Emory University in 2011 with a degree in Neuroscience and Behavior Biology. She is a writer, small business owner, notoriously bad picture taker, and former infectious disease research coordinator who worked with the infectious disease research team at Emory University during the Ebola Pandemic. Quay has been published in several online journals and blogs. Most recently, she’s been a contributing blogger at Psych Central where she discusses the intersection of pop culture and the world of psychology.

Quay is the single mom of an amazing kid who you probably saw in a few commercials and TV movies before he quit to pursue his dreams of not being a child actor – just kidding, he wanted to focus on high school, film making, and learning every language and instrument he can. So far, he’s at 3 languages and 4 instruments. He plans on using these skills as a visual storyteller. He is her proudest achievement.

Quay is also a survivor of Georgia’s Foster Care System. After entering foster care at the age of 13, Quay was subjected to all of the nightmares the system had to offer. From 1997-2003, Quay battled the disturbingly broken system for access to education and stability. She is a vocal advocate for foster youth and the homeless and has actively been trying to raise awareness about the system since her days as a teenager speaking at fundraising galas for organizations helping foster and homeless youth. She is currently working on a book series called Driftwood which explores her experiences in the foster system and adventures as a homeless teenager in Metro-Atlanta.

Quay hopes that in writing about her journey, she will be able to paint the picture of what it was and in many ways still is like for youth in foster care, and hopefully drive discussions that will create lasting change in the foster system. She hopes that one day foster care won’t be yet another trauma added to the pile of traumas that kids in the system have to overcome, but instead, it’ll be the saving grace for abused and neglected youth that it’s supposed to be.

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