Between Families – April 2021

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Child abuse can exist in multiple forms: sexual, emotional, and neglect. In the past year, it’s estimated 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year. Of the cases, 78 percent included the parent as being involved in the substantiated abuse. In 2019, almost 2,000 children died of abuse or neglect. Rates of child abuse and neglect are 5 times higher for children in families with low socio-economic status compared to children in families with higher socio-economic status.

How can you be part of the solution?

  • Identify potential risk factors such as parental stress, substance abuse, and poverty.
  • Provide a nurturing and attachment support.
  • Gain knowledge of child development.
  • Provide concrete support
  • Help build social connections and social emotional competence

Know the signs of child abuse and neglect:

  • Withdrawal, depression, anxiety, fears, self-harm
  • Behavioral changes and delayed emotional development
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Sexual behavior or knowledge that’s developmentally inappropriate
  • Lack of clothing, hygiene, appropriate medical attention
  • Food hoarding

An important reminder, all foster parents are mandated reporters. If you suspect abuse or neglect, please contact your local child protective services hot-line number.

Kansas Care Provider of the Month

Kelly Sims has been a licensed foster parent since July 2020, and in that time she has been placement for several children. Kelly is always willing to helpand provide care for any and all children in need of a loving, and supportive parent. Kelly has provided respite for several children in her short period of time, and has successfully been an active partner in these children’s reintegration plan. Kelly is a single foster parent and does her best to be flexible and try new approaches when it comes to providing care for these children. Kelly ensures that each child is given every opportunity to succeed both in education and mental health. Kelly has also advocated for these children and gives new meaning to the word “foster”. Kelly treats each child placed in her home as if they were her very own child. Thank you, Kelly, for your hard work and dedication to Kansas children!

Oklahoma Care Provider of the Month

Eric and Amy Stover have been foster parents with TFI since 2017. They currently have placement of a sibling set of four children, all of whom are under the age of five years old. They have continued to provide the necessary services for the children in the home, assist with visitation, and maintain connections to the biological family. The Stover’s continue to advocate for the best interest of the youth and are currently transitioning to adoption of all four children. The Stover home has cared for a total of seven children since becoming a certified foster home. Even through the ups and downs they understand the importance of keeping siblings together and providing quality care to children in their home. TFI is blessed to have an amazing family like the Stover’s helping to care for children in Oklahoma. Thank you, Stovers!

Oklahoma News

TFI has added some exciting new incentives and benefits for our foster parents, effective March 1, 2021.

Placement Bonus: $150 Bonus to families once a placement is accepted within the first six months of licensure (Valid through 6/30/21).

Annual Trainings: Foster parents will receive $150 stipend for annual training completion (prior to 12/31/21).

Respite reimbursement: Foster parents are eligible for one day of paid respite per month, per child. Respite days can be accumulated up to six nights. Total of respite reimbursement days not to exceed 12 days, per child, per calendar year. Respite must be in the home of a certified foster home to be eligible to receive reimbursement.

Clothing allowance: When a child is placed in the home for three months, they are eligible to receive a $100 clothing allowance. At six months, they will be eligible for another $100 clothing allowance. The child must be in placement to be eligible to receive allowance. Total of clothing allowance not to exceed $200 per year (based on placement date of child).

TFI appreciates everything you do for Oklahoma children!

Texas Care Provider of the Month

Virgel and Katie Duncan have been licensed foster parents with TFI since August 2020. They are the parents to five children. Shortly after they became licensed, Mr. and Mrs. Duncan accepted the placement of twin male three-year-old siblings. These young men have experienced a warm, loving, stable environment in which to grow and learn. They have shown improvement in developmental delays and are beautifully happy, rambunctious boys. The entire Duncan family has enjoyed spending time with them.

Texas is thrilled to have foster parents like Virgel and Katie! Thank you!

Training Corner

Is your teen ready for a part-time job?

Did you have a part-time job growing up? In the past, having a part-time job was a staple of nearly every teens schedule. Every teen can benefit from working a job in high school, or as early as they are legally allowed to have one. Even before that, having assigned chores around the house, babysitting, dog walking and tutoring younger children are all great ways to establish work ethic from a young age. As a teenager, looking for your first job can feel like a difficult task. Finding a job is hard to begin with for anyone. So, if your teen wants to pursue a job opportunity, you will want to help prepare them for this next big milestone. Today we are going to look at some of the pros and cons of teens getting their first job.

Read the article below, fill out the quiz and send to your worker for credit. 

Need Additional Training?

Check out these other training opportunities in April

PTSD In Children and Teens                                CA # 110629
April 12, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm                                   Trainer: Hettie Wilson
Participants will be able to define PTSD as it pertains to children and teens. Additionally, participants will gain understanding into the events that lead to PTSD in children and be able to identify the signs and symptoms of this diagnosis. Risk factors and protective factors that may influence a child’s likelihood of experiencing PTSD will be identified. Participants will be able to recognize the various way PTSD can affect children and teens and acquire skills in responding to a child’s PTSD reaction. Finally, participants will learn ways to treat and prevent PTSD in children.

Parenting Children With Special Needs          CA # 110631
April 17, 2021 10:00am-11:00am                                 Trainer: Lora Bruce
Gain an understanding of the most common types of special needs physical, developmental, behavioral/emotional, and sensory impaired. Participants will understand the different approaches of being a parent with a special needs child. Discuss different parenting styles to understand which style parents can relate with the most.

Partnering For A Successful Court Process    CA # 110635
April 27, 2021 1:00pm-2:00pm                                    Trainer: Renee Lilley
This training will educate child welfare professionals and foster parents on what to expect during the court process involving foster care.

Recruitment Spotlight

It’s that time Foster Families! The 2021 Foster Family Retreat is set and ready for you to register. Your Foster Care worker should have sent you a flier that talks about this year’s virtual retreat and gives you instructions on how to register. We have four really amazing speakers this year that I think you will really enjoy. Closer to the retreat date of May 15, I will be sending out instructions through your foster care worker about how to access the live event. We are excited about the format this year and hope you truly enjoy it while being able to stay home and safe.

Please be looking for your retreat flier or simply go to www.fosterfamily.vfairs.com to get registered today. We’ll see everyone on May 15 for the virtual edition of our TFI Foster Family Retreat!

Jason Cecil
Director of Regional Recruitment

Fund Development

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time for communities to come together to build caring connections, supportive environments and positive experiences for all children. We want to thank the TFI staff for everything they do every day to help children in our communities! Also, 35 percent of our TFI employees give back a portion of their salary to children and families. It is so appreciated! Here are some of the events coming up 2021:

  • Cowboys Who Care Ranch Rodeo, Saturday, June 5, at the Creek County Fairgrounds in Kellyville, Oklahoma
  • Blues, Brews, and Bites Festival, Saturday, September 11, at Ward-Meade Park in Topeka, Kansas
  • Golf Tournament , Thursday October 7, at Fire Keeper Golf Course in Mayetta, Kansas

If you know of any folks or companies who would be interesting in partnering with us – please let us know. Also, if you’re interested at volunteering at any of these events, please email Libby Hayden at [email protected].

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any contacts, questions, or fun stories of generosity at 785-213-6161 [email protected]. Thanks for all you do!

Oklahoma/Texas: Steven Mandeville | 918-728-3378 | [email protected] 
Kansas/Nebraska: Sheila Kearney | 785-213-6161 | [email protected] 
Events & Volunteer Coordinator: Libby Hayden | 785-294-6606 | [email protected]

We have an app for YOU! You can find the portal online at https://fosterfamilyportal.com/. You can also find it in the Apple App Store and on Google Play! We hope you take the time to download it today. If you have any questions about the app, please contact your foster care worker!

Thank you for opening up your hearts and homes to children in need. TFI is so grateful for your compassion and dedication to children and families. We hope you take the time to download the app today!

The first winner of our newsletter giveaway is Christopher & Holly Herriman. Christopher and Holly, to claim your $25 Amazon gift card, please email your foster care worker and tell them you won the giveaway. You must email your worker within the month of April to accept your prize.

Happy Anniversary

Thank you for opening your hearts and homes to children in need.

25 Years
Shari & Kenneth Coatney

12 Years
Leon & Ryneck Sharp 

11 Years
Doug & Marcia Hermesch 
Jeff & Alicia Zandler 

5 Years
Aaron & Joy Rhea 
Andrea Winter & Patricia Cummings
Christopher & Holly Herriman 
Wesley & Annette Dueck 

1 Year 
Stacie Tush
Steven & Staci Raines
Larry & Amaya Owens
Ryan & Kimberly Eggleston
Stuart & Heidi Heckman
Sara Bennett
Courtney Moye 
Bruce & Melissa Tate
Matthew & Hilary Marquette 

Amazon Smile

Every time you make a purchase on Amazon, TFI Family Services can earn money and participating does NOT increase the price you pay for your purchases. Visit smile.amazon.com or click the picture above and select TFI Family Services to support youth in foster care.

Dillons Rewards

Every time you make a purchase at Dillons, TFI Family Services can earn money. Please visit dillons.com/communityrewards or click the picture above and select TFI Family Services as your nonprofit to support youth in foster care.