On My Way Home: A Memoir of Kinship, Grace, and Hope

As a young child, your sense of time is focused on the present, living from day-to-day. Sharon McDaniel was only 6 years old when she was removed from the care of her young, widowed father, separated from her brother and sister and forced into the child welfare system. She ended each day wondering, “Is this now my home?” until aging out of the system 11 years later at age 17. Despite the pain of her situation, she credits kin in helping her become strong enough to survive the harsh realities of life in the foster care system in the 60’s and 70’s. Out of high school and emancipated from the system, she finds herself still searching for home. As a lover of learning, she turns her attention to Penn State where her calling as a pioneer in child welfare begins. Her entrepreneurial spirit and determination began in the 80’s as a young caseworker fresh out of college. At every corner, she was challenged to confront the system as a young African American female in a world of male-dominated administrators. In the early 90’s, her efforts were set on establishing a child welfare agency solely dedicated to kinship care services – something most thought was unachievable.