Orphan Who Won America's Heart Kicked Out by Family

Davion Only 'has built up a lot of anger,' says head of foster agency

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 4, 2014 2:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Florida foster child who became a media darling and received 10,000 offers for a new home is back in foster care after a family kicked him out, Tampa Bay Times reports. In fact, efforts with four families went sour, and 16-year-old Davion Only has shut down lines of communication—no media events, no Facebook messages, no meetings with his adviser. "I'm extremely worried about him," his adviser said. "We had a short conversation a couple of weeks ago, but it was very unsettling." So what happened? Things seemed positive in March when a minister and his wife flew Davion up to Ohio, signed him up for football, and took him to church. "I got baptized!" Davion wrote on Facebook.

But during the 90-day trial period, "there was an incident in Ohio," said Lorita Shirley, director of his foster care agency. Davion apparently had a physical altercation with the father and another child in the house, and the family wanted him gone. This was after three other placements failed to gel, including one with a foster family where Davion said he "had a blowout." Shirley says the biggest problem "is that Davion spent 15 years in the system. He has built up a lot of anger." But she's still seeking placement for him, maybe with "empty-nesters" who have experience raising teenagers. "That might be the best match for him." (Read about the tremendous effort Davion made to receive better care.)

An outing away from the group home he lives in allowed Davion Only, left, to spend some quality time talking one-on-one with his mentor, Richard Prince, 22.
An outing away from the group home he lives in allowed Davion Only, left, to spend some quality time talking one-on-one with his mentor, Richard Prince, 22.   (AP Photo/Tampa Bay Times, Melissa Lyttle)
Davion Only.
Davion Only.   (AP Photo/Tampa Bay Times, Melissa Lyttle)
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"On paper, this was the book-definition perfect family for him. The father was a pastor who had worked with troubled kids. They knew about Davion's background and his issues." - Lorita Shirley, director
at the Eckerd agency

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