Tag: Foster Care and Adoption

When it Comes to Siblings, It’s all Relative

Like most sisters, 2-year old Davina and her 7-year old sister Marla (not their real names), fight over whose turn it is to play on the iPad. “We go through phases with sharing,” explains Emily Kenney, their foster mom for the past year and a half. In that time, Emily has seen how important routine is to the girls, even … Continue

Young Foster Mom Is Wrapped in Family Support

Courtney Chavez is a young social worker who has answered the call to care for vulnerable children both professionally and personally. “Because of my career, I saw the need and was already inclined to become a foster parent,” she says. “But at the same time, early on, when I was working as a child welfare case manager, I wasn’t allowed … Continue

25 Years of Growing Hope

”I still call them my ‘children,’” says SaintA foster parent Judy DeVries. Behind her, there’s a collage of photos of former foster kids comingled with snapshots of her family and grandkids. She rattles off names and shares snippets of stories about the kids she and her husband, Jim, have fostered over the years. Twenty-five years, to be exact. In that … Continue

Foster Parents Curb the Chaos, Provide Structure for Kids

When we asked several youth from SaintA’s Independent Living Services what makes a good foster parent, some of the answers surprised us. In addition to being loving, caring and supportive, find out what makes a good foster parent. Watch the video, featuring our ILS youth in their own words, below. Passion. Determination. And believe it or not, structure. Those are … Continue

SaintA Foster Parents Recognized for Exceptional Care

Thomas and Lillian Rivera, SaintA licensed foster parents, received a Governor’s Foster Parent Award on May 2 at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison. The award was presented by Secretary of the Department of Children and Families, Eloise Anderson and Wisconsin First Lady Tonette Walker. The Riveras were one of six families to receive this annual award, which recognizes the … Continue

Unconditional Love Is Critical to Foster Kids’ Futures

We asked several youth from SaintA’s Independent Living Services to reflect on what it feels like to hope for, have, and occasionally be surprised by, unconditional love. Now young adults, many are going to school, to work and into parenthood themselves. And they all demonstrate what happens when resilient children grow into persevering adults. Watch the future of our community … Continue

What Happens When Bio and Foster Parents Work Together?

In the video below, former foster kids talk about how stress on the child can be eased when they see their bio and foster parents working together. What’s more, when bio and foster parents work together to nurture the child, permanency can usually be achieved more quickly. When you become a foster parent, you can also become a mentor, coach … Continue

Siblings Belong Together

When children are removed from their homes due to unsafe circumstances, the first thing they need is some sense of normalcy. Our ability to keep siblings together in a foster care placement provides at least a little bit of that. As some of our former foster youth tell us in the video below, it can be heartbreaking when siblings are … Continue

Teens in Foster Care Are Kids, Too

Did you know 25% of kids in out-of-home care in Wisconsin are teens? Watch as these SaintA Independent Living Services clients (all of whom are former foster kids), talk about why older youth need just as much care, guidance and love as younger children. And in some ways, may need more. Teens are kids, too. Please consider becoming a foster … Continue

Former Foster Youth Speaks Out Against the Stigma

Daniel, a SaintA Independent Living Services client, sheds light on one of the most common misconceptions about kids in foster care. In the video below, Daniel suggests that putting the stigma-evoking adjective “foster” in front of the word “kid” isn’t fair to the children and youth who are in the system, due to no fault of their own. Help correct … Continue

The Need for Foster Parents Is Great. The Rewards Are Greater.

There are 6,000 kids in out-of-home care in Wisconsin at any given time and 25% of them are teenagers. To bring awareness to the need for foster parents for children and youth of all ages, the SaintA Foster Care and Treatment Foster Care teams asked some former foster youth if they’d be willing to share their stories. And they did. … Continue

Siblings and Special Needs Kids Are Their Passion

The 2-year-old girl sits at the kitchen table, gripping a handful of Goldfish crackers and scowling. “Are you mean-mugging your daddy?” Mom asks with a laugh. Indeed she is. Because Daddy taught her to scowl. And that’s because she doesn’t talk much, and facial expressions help her communicate. And, in this case, have some fun. The girl is Naomi Sladek, … Continue

A Partnership Leads to Permanency

In the book, “The Theory and Practice of Change Management,” by John Hayes, the stages of the Helping Relationship are listed as the following; Developing the helping relationship, helping clients understand the problem situation, helping clients identify a preferred scenario and establish change goals, helping clients plan and take action, consolidating the change, and withdrawing from the helping relationship. In … Continue

First an Adoption, Then a Wedding for Middle-Aged Couple

Nov. 20 was “the best day ever!” for Janet Merkel and her long-time beau Thomas Knake. That’s the day when Janet finally got to adopt her two grandsons, Gavin, 9, and Noah, 6, then be married to Tom by the same judge. It was a long time coming for the pair, both in their early 50s, who have been together … Continue

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