Laura Van Slyke

As Interviewed by Madeleine Van Slyke, March 17, 2019
"Just the fact that our foster care system is still -- 13 years later since I was directly working with it on a regular basis -- it’s still not appropriately funded [is a social injustice]."
Laura Van Slyke

Introductory Profile: About Laura M. Van Slyke

I interviewed Laura Elizabeth McAndrew Van Slyke, born in 1971. She has lived in Austin for the past 11 years. Laura Van Slyke is my mother and had inspired me through her work for many years. She helps children and shows her talent and empathy every day. I chose to interview her specifically in order to learn more about her work in the foster system and social injustices she has witnessed/experienced in her work. She graduated from Memorial High School in 1989 and went on to be a student at the University of Texas. While there she received her Bachelor of Arts, with majors in Plan 2 and English in 1993, as well as her master of Science in Social work in 1998. She is currently licensed as a LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker).

Laura currently works as a Special Education Counselor for the Austin Independent School District and had previously worked for several safe homes and other organizations dedicated to helping children. Among these organizations are Helping Hand and Strong Start, both of which are non-profit organizations located in Austin.

Throughout the full interview, we reviewed the education she acquired in order to be a certified mental health specialist and what her current and previous jobs entailed. We also discussed her views on the Texas Foster Care System and what examples of social injustice she has/had witnessed in her current and previous jobs. The interview portrayed a lot of the different sides of the foster care system, both things that it excels at and things that seriously need to be addressed.