Help Us Find More People Like YOU!
If you haven’t seen this already, the Marketing Team at TFI is asking our beloved foster parents to take a quick survey so that we can find more lovely foster parents JUST LIKE YOU! To find folks as lovely as you, we need to find out a little bit more about who you are and why you chose to foster! Please take 10-15 minutes to fill out the survey below.
The first 100 responders will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FSXJNY7
To qualify for the $10 Amazon Gift Card, please send a screenshot of the final closing screen after completing the survey to email@example.com. If you have already filled the survey out, THANK YOU! We appreciate your time and effort. We will be sending out the gift cards after we get 100 screenshots. There is still time to get yours!
Kansas Care Provider of the Month
Bill and Nancy are amazing foster parents who go above and beyond for their kids. They currently have four children who require many appointments and needs. They are working with each child to help them gain life skills appropriate to their age and development.
They are always willing to take in our hard-to-place youth when we ask. No challenge seems too big for them. They are hardworking, dedicated, and organized. They make you feel like you are one of the family, and the kids always say Nancy makes excellent meals and desserts. They have been fostering for over 30 years and their experience shines.
This past month, Kansas Foster Care filled all open foster care worker positions in the state. Also in January, the Garden City and Dodge City areas increased their home count to the point where we are able to add a fourth worker in that area for the first time! This past year, many families have asked when Kansas will go back to having in-person foster parent retreats.
For the first time since prior to the pandemic, we will be having our first in-person retreat in Kansas. We hope to announce the date and location of our retreat soon, please be on the lookout!
Nebraska Care Provider of the Month
After a 9-month placement ended in July, Diane took a break from fostering for self and family care. She restarted by providing respite for high-needs youth. In early December, Diane accepted the placement of a teen who had lived in 5 different foster homes in less than two years. Diane has done an amazing job getting to know the teen, his pronouns, his love of drawing and writing, and his academic challenges.
Diane continues to exceed the required CE hours to maintain her license. In addition, Diane and the teen enjoy their together time – as introverts reading on the couch or researching brain development so the teen can develop strong characters in his stories.
Foster Care has been focusing on increasing our name recognition in the state of Nebraska. In January Foster Care Worker, Tiffiany Mullison, and Special Projects Manager, Jenifer Hermann, attended the Lincoln DHHS monthly meeting and presented on TFI’s mission and the services we provide. A similar presentation will be given in February at the Kearney DHHS monthly meeting.
Texas Care Provider of the Month
This month TFI will highlight the Kreymer family! The Kreymer household consists of Mrs. Kirby Kreymer and her wife Brittnee Kreymer. Kirby is an Executive Assistant and Brittnee works as a VIP of Sales. The couple owns four pets: three dogs, and one cat; Mia, a female 7-year-old English Bulldog, Kalie, a female Australian Sheppard, Weston, a male 9-month English Bulldog and Cruella, a female 1-year-old rescue cat. This family enjoys cooking, spending time with close and extended family and most of all, are ecstatic sports fans!
Kirby shared that she began thinking about fostering over the past year and a half as she has always wanted to be a mother. She explained after watching a program called Wednesdays Child, she understood the need for children in need to have a loving and safe home.
Kirby and Brittnee knew that now was the time to foster. They can financially provide help for a child and are in a place in their lives where they can provide a loving and stable home. They are now at the start of their foster journey!
Oklahoma Care Provider of the Month
The Newton/Mckown family has been fostering with TFI since 2018. They are from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and have four children of their own. James and Rachel initially decided to foster because they feel that there are many children who need help. Since becoming foster parents, they have fostered large sibling groups and their home is always full.
They are always more than happy to assist with bridging and assist in any way they can to ensure children stay connected to their biological parents. We are truly blessed that they are part of our TFI family.
Fun Winter Activities for Kids
The weather outside is frightful, but we’ve come up with plenty of things to do this winter that will be a blast!
- Make paper snowflake cut-outs.
- Build pillow forts.
- Make a bird feeder out of pinecones, peanut butter, and birdseed—and place it near your window for a show.
- Learn to knit a scarf.
- Enjoy a living room picnic.
- Start some seedlings.
- Complete a jigsaw puzzle.
- Take a wintry hike.
- Go ice skating.
- Spend the whole day in your PJs watching movies.
- Camp out in the living room.
- Play flashlight tag.
- Go for a winter scavenger hunt.
- Play tic-tac-toe using items from nature.
- Host a kid jokes competition.
- Try a new recipe.
- Have a game night.
- Host a DIY pizza night.
Six Common Triggers of Teen Stress
Teens experience some amount of stress, but many teens suffer with significant stress levels that rival that of adults. Consider if these potential triggers of teen stress are affecting your teen…
Recruiting foster parents is a crucial part of child welfare. It is our belief that every child deserves a safe, loving home. While we do have foster care recruiters for our agency, did you know our BEST recruiters for foster homes are actually our foster parents themselves?
Did you know you can get paid to help us recruit new foster homes? TFI has a program called “Ambassadors Club.” This program incentivizes our foster families to help recruit new foster families for our agency. This program includes referral incentives, entries into gift card drawings, and gift cards to your favorite restaurants! The more foster homes you refer that become licensed, the more incentives you receive.
Here are some quick, easy ways to help recruit:
- Church: Ask your local church if they would let you speak about fostering and how it can positively impact lives. If you’re uncomfortable speaking to a crowd, pass your church’s information on to our recruiters so they can set something up.
- Sporting Events/Grocery Store: While waiting for your favorite players to start, engage in conversation with the people around you. Be real, be compassionate and share your passion and love of fostering with others.
- Flyers: TFI has recruitment flyers. You can easily get these from your Foster Care Worker. Ask your local schools if they would be willing to set some out in the teachers’ lounge. Ask your church if you can set some out Sunday morning by the pamphlets. These flyers can also be hung up anywhere around town.
- Friends/Family: Talk to your friends and family about the importance of foster parents. Share with them how every child needs structure, consistency, and love. If you know someone interested but not ready to commit, pass their information to your Foster Care Worker or our recruiters.
- Utilize social media: “Like” our Facebook page and “share” our posts. You can also “share” our posts with local buy/sell/trade groups, local parent support group pages, and local community pages.
February is the month known for love, but we received plenty of love in December and January! The community was full of kindness and generosity for children in care and foster families. Here are a couple of highlights from Kansas:
- Advisor’s Excel had their Annual AE Big Day of Giving in Topeka, Kansas and Pathway was someone they targeted to serve.
- One team bought new books and organized the library for kids at the PRTF. The other three teams went to the TRAIL apartments with household items – bath towels, dishes, laundry baskets, cutlery sets, hygiene products and a financial book. The teams finished the day organizing the storeroom where our youth can go to find items they need for their apartment.
- Advisor’s Excel also awarded funding for our “Making It a Home” project for our TRAIL program to purchase much needed items – vacuums, bedding, lamps, nightstands and blinds for the youths’ apartments.
- Blue Cross Blue Shield made a generous donation to purchase annual memberships to a local health club for the TRAIL youth so they can go to exercise and swim year-round. We all know the benefit of having tired kids at the end of the day!
- Kansas Heritage Foundation supported foster care and the TRAIL program in Topeka by donating for kids to attend summer camps, purchase musical instruments, sports uniforms, laptops, and other help needed.
Thank you again to everyone who donated which also includes their time! We appreciate all your support.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Steven or Sheila if you have any contacts, questions or fun stories of generosity.
Oklahoma/Texas: Steven Mandeville | 918-728-3378 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kansas/Nebraska: Sheila Kearney | 785-213-6161 | email@example.com
Events & Volunteer Coordinator: Libby Hayden | 785-294-6606 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for opening your hearts and homes to children in need.
Marlon & Dawana Bates
Roy “Justin” & Suzanne Sanchez
Jenny Prater & Brent Stone
Ryan & Amber Lewis
Jamin & Kyla Evans
Brandon & Amanda Clark
Bryan & Aubrey Burnham
Joshua & Charlotte Glaze
Jose & Maria Rojas
John & Deborah Akers
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.