Family Engagement Specialist James Burrows sees his interactions with parents whose children have been removed from the home as almost like a chess match.
“Every step I take is calculated, and there are so many variables in play, with the Bureau (of Milwaukee Child Welfare,) the courts, the system; but we just continue to work with ... Continue→
Ongoing Case Manager Sarah Benitez had an “aha” moment about compassion fatigue when a foster mother with whom she had been working for a long time had to go to court and testify regarding the termination of parental rights for her foster children.
“Going to court to me is like going to the office, but, with ... Continue→
Sister Rose Martin Weldgen, the most recent member of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Assisi to sit on the SaintA board, has left her post for health reasons. She leaves behind legacy of caring, commitment, and – as she will readily admit – a bit of lunacy.
Sister relishes her sense of humor, what she ... Continue→
When SaintA therapist Lindsay Price started working with a family, the 14-year-old boy had stolen a car, was getting into fights at school, threatening his 8-year-old sister, and being disrespectful to his mother and grandmother.
By the end of five months working with Functional Family Therapy (FFT), things had dramatically improved. But getting there required a ... Continue→
A youth in SaintA’s Independent Living Services program who attended a recent Community Building event came in on the Saturday of the two-day program looking like she was carrying the burden of the world.
By the end of the day Sunday, she had a big, broad smile and she looked like she was floating on air.
“I ... Continue→
Sherrie Miller, who has been a foster mother for 13 years, is a believer in reunification of children with their biological parents. It’s the foundation of foster care, she says, and she thinks the best place for children is almost always with their parents.
“Anything I can do, and the court can do, needs to be ... Continue→
When Shirlee Bedard’s three adopted children were removed from their biological home, the youngest, who was 14 months old, weighed 16 pounds.
Because they had been kept in a closet for long periods of time, they had developed their own kind of language.
They knew little about interacting or communicating in the “normal” world, and they lacked ... Continue→
Sometimes all it takes is encouragement.
Shlonda never had much. Then when case manager in SaintA’s Independent Living Services (ILS) program reached out to her, things started to change.
Shlonda is 26 and has been with ILS, which helps former foster children achieve successful and independent adult lives, for five years. Her younger sister first became a ... Continue→
Trisha bounces her wide-eyed toddler at her dining room table as she talks about being a crack addict. Her house is tidy and the little girl is happy and healthy. Keeping this child, and being reunified with three others, is what drove Trisha ultimately to get clean.
That, plus the cocaine was killing her.
“It makes you ... Continue→
Three-year-old Lyle Potter doesn’t stop moving. He’s on the couch, on the floor with the two small dogs, laughing and talking non-stop in his toddler-like way. His hands are covered in green Ninja Turtle gloves that he just got, and his arms are smeared with bits of sticky crispy treats.
“What happened last week?” His mother, ... Continue→
Radio station Jammin’ 98.3 FM recently interviewed Foster Care Licensing Supervisor Nichole Ostrowski-Grasset on their community affairs show, The Jammin’ Journal. She and host Andrea Williams talk about the need for foster parents and how to become one. Andrea also gives a reminder about SaintA’s upcoming toy drive.
WJMR 98.3 FM, The Jammin’ Journal
To learn ... Continue→
Ed was in foster care since he was 2 years old. He bounced through 20 different homes and five different group homes. At age 20, he found SaintA’s Independent Living Services, and his life totally changed.
For three years Ed has been a participant in the Supportive Permanent Housing program, which provides housing, the daily needs ... Continue→
Sarah Dobs sees families at a very distressing time in their lives. Negativity and grief are in abundance. Parents and children are confused and emotionally distraught.
That’s why she focuses on being empathetic and observing quietly as much as possible.
Her job and that of two other Family Services assessors is to reach out to parents after ... Continue→
SaintA President and CEO Teri Zywicki recently was interviewed by WWRS-TV for its community affairs show, Public Report. She discussed SaintA’s programs for young people who age out of foster care, and how the agency helps them to transition successfully to adulthood.To learn more, visit our Independent Living Services page. Continue→
A soft knock on office doors around SaintA last week was followed by a small boy with big dark eyes meekly entering.
“My name is James. And I pulled the fire alarm,” he said.
James, who is in SaintA’s Residential care program, was accompanied by his therapist, Chris Kangas, and therapist Intern Ashley Yungwirth.
As they watched, James ... Continue→