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This man wants to ensure no child in the foster care system ever has to endure experiences like his

3 min read

Good Stuff
This man wants to ensure no child in the foster care system ever has to endure experiences like his
Source: APBSpeakers.com

Rob Chasteen-Scheer is the founder of “Comfort Cases,” a non-profit organisation that provides backpacks with essentials to tens of thousands of foster children.

When a black garbage bag came back to haunt Rob, he determined to do something permanent about it

Forty years ago, Rob Chasteen-Scheer entered foster care as a 10-year-old, carrying his few possessions in a black garbage bag, to what would be the first of a string of homes he would stay in during his adolescence. When, as a foster-parent himself, that garbage bag came back to haunt him, Rob determined to do something permanent about it.

From homeless teen to advocate for foster children across America Rob Chasteen-Scheer, with the support of his husband and family, wants to make sure no other child in the foster-care system ever has an experience like the ones he and his own adopted children had to endure. Warning: this clip contains descriptions of abuse some viewers may find distressing. Source: Facebook/Upworthy

Rob connected the trash bags with feelings of instability, lack of self-worth, fear and uncertainty

Rob Chasteen-Scheer founded Comfort Cases in 2013. Comfort Cases is an all-volunteer charitable organisation that provides overnight bags, pyjamas, hygiene items, activities, and comfort items to children and teens transitioning into foster care.

An adoptive father of four children from foster care and a former foster teen himself, Rob recognised a troubling yet consistent trend: like so many in the foster-care system, his own children came to his home carrying what few possessions they had in black trash bags.

He immediately connected the trash bags with the instability, lack of self-worth, and fear that many children in foster care experience during this uncertain time in their lives. Armed with the conviction that all children should be provided with everyday essentials and the comfort of a few things to call their own, Rob started Comfort Cases and began a journey to improve the lives of foster children throughout the (Washington) DC metropolitan region.

Backed by friends and local supporters volunteering their time, Comfort Cases provided 500 cases to social service agencies in the DC region during its first year of operations. Local companies began hosting donation drives with their employees and girl scout troops, schools, and faith-based and community groups began reaching out to host packing parties. The ability to join in service together, give locally, and help children was a recipe for continued success. 

In 2015, the charity’s reach grew exponentially — 5,000 comfort cases were distributed that year.

Source: APBSpeakers.com

Rob (right); his huband, Reece (left), and their four children, from left to right; Amaya, Makai, Tristan and Grayson.
The Chasteen-Scheers: the face of the modern family unit Rob (right); his huband, Reece (left), and their four children, from left to right; Amaya, Makai, Tristan and Grayson. Source: Pinterest

What’s in a Comfort Case?

A Comfort Case is a small duffel bag or backpack that holds the items listed below. Its purpose is to provide comfort for children as they enter the foster care system. The case provides the essentials for the first few days in a new place as well as comfort items to help ease a scary transition. Comfort Case want these children to know that their community cares about them and wants them to have something of their very own.

Children under 10 years

  • Small duffel bag or backpack
  • Pyjamas (Newborn to 8/9)
  • Small Blanket
  • Youth Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  •  Lotion
  • Soap or Body Wash
  • Stuffed Animal
  • Colouring Book & Crayons
  • Book

Chidren over 10 years

  • Small duffel bag or backpack
  • Pyjamas or Sleepwear
(Child Size 10 to Adult XXL)
  • Small Blanket
  • Adult Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Lotion
  • Soap or Body Wash
  •  Deodorant
  • Stuffed Animal
  • Journal, Pens, & Pencils
  • Book

Anyone can make a difference in the life of a child in need by donating any of the items listed above, but in order to best confer a sense of dignity to foster children, they ask that all donated items are brand new. 

Source: ComfortCases.org

Rob's own negative experiences of foster care stood him in good stead as a new foster parent — he knew all too well the things that can hurt and upset a young person in a state of uncertainty, and how best to avoid them.
Domestic bliss: Rob and Reece adopted their foster children Rob’s own negative experiences of foster care stood him in good stead as a new foster parent — he knew all too well the things that can hurt and upset a young person in a state of uncertainty, and how best to avoid them. Source: Facebook/RobScheer
Make an Impact

Make a Donation to Comfort Cases Today to Support Foster Youth!

Comfort Cases: providing comfort and support for children in foster care.