In 2012 I started a local Facebook group called Tucson Kinship, Foster and Adoptive Families because I felt so alone with a 13 year old kinship placement and I wanted to talk to others in my community. While there are several Facebook groups in Tucson for foster families, what makes my group different is because it includes professionals who work in the industry, such as licensing workers, case managers, attorneys, therapists and behavioral health professionals. It provided a place for our community to come together to share resources, ask questions or just talk about our broken hearts.
In the 15+ years I have been working in foster care, I am always amazed at how little foster parents know about resources available to them or the lack of training and support families get from their licensing agency.
I created FostAdopt Connections because I saw a need for a neutral organization that foster families can turn to for support. We are not a licensing agency and we do not have a contract with the State. This is very important to me because licensing agencies and behavioral health organizations who have a contract with the State, have contractual requirements that sometime limit their ability to really help. Often times, their decisions are based on financial reasons, not based on the needs of the foster child or family. For this reason, we want to stay independent and neutral.
The mission of FostAdopt Connections is to support and empower kinship, foster and adopted children and the people who care for them by providing mentors, connection to resources and the community at large. We are an organization comprised of individuals with many years of experience in all areas of the system who want to offer support, guidance and a listening ear.
Being a kinship/foster/adoptive parent is one of the hardest yet most rewarding experiences one can do in life. It can also be a very lonely time for many families who struggle through the system due to lack of training, resources, support and guidance. We want to make a difference in that experience.
Recently we were given an opportunity to work with teens in group homes. This is a population who needs so much love and support and we are thrilled for this opportunity!!