Between Families – April 2022

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Child abuse can exist in multiple forms, such as sexual, emotional and neglect. An estimated one in seven children have experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year alone. Of the cases, 78 percent included the parent as being involved in the substantiated abuse. In 2019, nearly 2,000 children died of abuse or neglect. Rates of child abuse and neglect are five times higher for children in families with low socioeconomic status compared to children in families with higher socioeconomic status.

Here are some tips on how you can be part of the solution:
– Identify potential risk factors such as parental stress, substance abuse and poverty
– Provide nurturing and attachment support
– Gain knowledge of child development
– Provide concrete support
– Help build social connections and social emotional competence

Below are 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 or appropriate medical attention
– Food hoarding

ALL foster parents are mandated reporters. If you suspect abuse or neglect, please contact your local child protective services hotline number.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month – UW Combined Fund Drive

Kansas Care Provider of the Month

Audra Sundberg has a wonderful home, and we can always count on her to take children that are harder to place. She recently accepted placement of a hard-to-place child and has done exceptionally well. She does a great job loving and supporting our foster kids.

Kansas News

TFI’s Foster Parent Retreat will be held virtually this year in the evenings of May 31 and June 1. We are excited to have multiple, nationally-recognized speakers to provide training for our foster parents. More information will be sent out soon. Click Here to view the bios of Derek Clark and Dr. John DeGarmo.

Oklahoma Care Provider of the Month

Matthew and Richard Bond are therapeutic foster parents who were certified with TFI in August 2021. The Bonds are an amazing family and provide excellent care for the child placed in their home. They are advocates for him and take a holistic approach to ensure his needs are met. The Bonds have assisted with respite when there is a need. We appreciate the Bonds for their dedication and excellent care.

Oklahoma News

Below is information for guidance on alternate care, informal care and respite care.

Alternate Caregiver
Every certified family is to have an alternate caregiver designated for their home. The alternate caregiver is someone that the foster parents trust to be able to provide safe and nurturing care for the children in foster care when they cannot. The alternate caregiver must be at least 21 years old. The approved alternate caregiver can provide care for less than 14 days in a row.

If providing care for more than seven days, the alternate caregivers must complete public and state child welfare, criminal and Department of Public Safety background checks. In addition, a TFI worker must complete a walk-through of the alternate caregiver’s home annually. Please provide agency with required alternate caregiver information 30 days prior to use of the alternate caregiver to allow for approval process.

Informal Care
Foster parents can exercise the reasonable and prudent parent standard to identify an informal care provider for up to seven consecutive days of care. Provider must be at least 18 years old.

Respite Care
Respite care can be arranged with other approved foster homes. Respite care can be provided for less than 14 days in a row. Respite care must be approved prior to the respite occurring. Please contact your foster care worker PRIOR to the respite occurring in order for our intake department to track respite occurrences.

**Therapeutic foster parents may only utilize certified TFC parents for respite or informal care.**

Texas News

Texas Foster Care is excited to announce that its first Professional Foster Care home is ready! This 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom home is in Abilene and is waiting to welcome children in urgent need of foster care placements. Texas Foster Care is in search of foster parents who feel moved to help these vulnerable children. The program allows foster parents to reside in this home at no charge with utilities included. If you or someone you know are interested in finding out more about this incredible opportunity, please contact Texas Foster Care at 877-3FOSTER or txdata@tfifamily.org.

Professional Foster Parent Opportunity in Abilene

Click the link below to apply today!

Training Corner

Positive Interactions with Birth Parents as a Foster Parent

With 11 foster kids over the last seven years, we have had many opportunities to interact with the birth parents of the kids we’re caring for. We’ve experienced positive instances as well as not-so positive ones. Here are some of my thoughts from what we’ve learned…

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

Interested Kansas participants can sign-up through Children’s Alliance.

Anyone outside of Kansas will need to utilize EventBrite.

TFI/MNS staff should enroll through the agency LMS.

Recruitment Spotlight

With April being National Autism Awareness Month, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight our Oklahoma Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) program, which serves children diagnosed with autism and many other disorders.

What is Therapeutic Foster Care?
Therapeutic Foster Care consists of children aged 4-18 who have been qualified to receive more intensive services based on their needs. Most of these children have a mental health diagnosis, increased behavioral concerns, have experienced multiple moves or may have been hospitalized at some point. These children are our most vulnerable population who need homes where they can be afforded the opportunity to grow and have safety, security and nurturing care givers.

If you have questions about the TFC program, please contact Catherine Mure (405-535-3063) or Rebekah Clark-Hooker (405-584-9219).

If you are interested in becoming a TFC home, please contact your foster care worker or call our recruitment line (1-833-7FOSTER). If you are referring a new family to become certified, please direct them to our online application HERE or our recruitment line.

Have a great month!
-The Recruitment Team

Fund Development

Happy Spring!

Volunteer Appreciation Week is April 17-23, and we will be highlighting a few of our volunteers across our social media accounts. Our volunteers are very important to TFI, and we couldn’t do what we do without them. Thank you to all of our volunteers!

We are also excited to announce an upcoming new event in Texas! The 2022 Texas Family Initiative Golf Tournament will be held May 23 at the renowned Timarron Country Club in Southlake, Texas. We want to thank our title sponsor The Robert E. Miller Group. We are still accepting sponsors, teams and volunteers. If you are interested, please contact Steven at smandeville@tfifamily.org.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other contacts, questions or fun stories of generosity at 785-233-6161 or skearney@tfifamily.org.

Thanks for all you do!

Oklahoma/Texas: Steven Mandeville | 918-728-3378 | smandeville@tfifamily.org 
Kansas/Nebraska: Sheila Kearney | 785-213-6161 | skearney@tfifamily.org 
Events & Volunteer Coordinator: Libby Hayden | 785-294-6606 | ehayden@tfifamily.org

The winner of this month’s newsletter giveaway is Kristin and Collin Adams. 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.

13 Years
Leon & Ryneck Sharp

12 Years
Jeff & Alicia Zandler
Doug & Marcia Hermesch

9 Years
Kristopher & Rebecca Smilko

5 Years
George & Lisa Cagle

1 Year
Dustin & Melanie Moyer
Loretta Thompson
Timothy & Lydia Weddle
Breanna Seitz
Jaime Kernaghan
Sam Pearson & Lorraine Melgoza-Pearson
Alaina Repic & Margaret Babinka
Aaron & Crystal Myer
Robert & Trichia Penner
William & Cassandra Faulkner
Macon & Hannah Suckow
Daryl & Jenny LIvergood
Nathan & Mary Nelson
Nicholas & Kayla Choate
Dakota & Rachelle Huffman
Kendal & Melna Morrison
Arfan Mohiuddin & April Golliver-Mohiuddin

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.