Leave Fireworks to the Experts
Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks. The National Safety Council advises everyone to enjoy fireworks at public displays conducted by professionals, and not to use any fireworks at home. They may be legal but they are not safe.
If consumer fireworks are legal to buy where you live and you choose to use them, be sure to follow the following safety tips:
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks
- Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eye wear
- Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
- Never light them indoors
- Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person
- Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
- Never ignite devices in a container
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
- Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire
- Never use illegal fireworks
Better yet, grab a blanket and a patch of lawn, kick back and let the experts handle the fireworks show! We hope everyone has a safe and fun July 4th holiday!
Greetings TFI Foster Parents! My name is Nadine Terry-Washington and I provide Ombudsman services for TFI. TFI realizes the importance of maintaining contact with foster parents to get their input and feedback and to maintain foster parent satisfaction. Because of this, TFI has identified the Ombudsman as the person you can contact if you have concerns that haven’t been able to be resolved through other means or if you have program suggestions. I will listen to your concern and make sure that the concern is reviewed by the appropriate parties and addressed timely with the goal of trying to reach some type of resolution. I also want to hear from you when you have program ideas or suggestions that can enhance services for children and families.
Another one of my roles is to review the quality of services that the agency provides to our clients and foster parents by sending out satisfaction surveys. I want to urge everyone to fill out these surveys and ask that you encourage the children in your home (ages 10 to 18) to fill them out as well. These surveys will help provide the information needed in determining the best quality of services for the clients and you as the caregivers. Please remember that your input is important.
Nadine Terry-Washington, Ombudsman
Mainstream Nonprofit Solutions
877-942-2239 ext. 2023
KANSAS NEWS & UPDATES
Rachelle Roosevelt has been promoted to Senior Vice President effective July 1. She brings 25 years of experience, of which 17 years have been with TFI. She will supervise several Vice Presidents, and will have specific responsibility over the new Case Management grants in Kansas.We know her leadership will support our future success!
Pam Richardson has accepted the position as Vice President of Foster Care for TFI. She will start with oversight of Kansas and eventually will assume responsibility of Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska as well. Pam has been with TFI since 2000 and her new role will be effective July 1st.
Kathy Jorgensen has accepted the Vice Presidency of Permanency and will start on August 5th. Kathy worked for TFI for approximately 10 years prior. She has experience in both preservation and permanency contracts as a Manager/Director.
We are excited about these changes and know that this will only improve the services we offer to the children and families we serve.
KANSAS CARE PROVIDER OF THE MONTH
Robert & Julie Boatright have been foster parents with TFI for over five years. In that time they have fostered many sibling sets, seeing most through to permanency, to include two sets of three siblings each to their adoptive families. They excel in letting kids be kids, getting involved in their school activities, extra-curricular groups and teams and ensuring they are treated to the same opportunities their own children would have. They have worked with many biological families, persevering through the ups and downs of visits, change in case workers, and children with mental health needs. They advocate for the needs of the children in their home on a regular basis, supporting what the kids’ want and feel is best. They maintain some of the most organized and up to date Redbooks that any agency could ask for. They have worked together as a team to foster children in a way that lets the children know they are loved, included and valued. They are flexible with agency staff, maintain their home in compliance with state regulations and are very much appreciated by their foster care worker. TFI is lucky to have the Boatright’s!
OKLAHOMA NEWS & UPDATES
Oklahoma families should make note of changes to Alternate Caregiver Requirements Effective 6/6/2019:
Each family will still be required to identify and provide contact information for an alternate caregiver.
If family chooses to have their alternate caregiver provide care for more than seven consecutive days the alternate caregiver will have to go through the approval process. Foster care worker will complete all necessary documentation if alternate caregiver is needed.
Foster home will need to notify TFI foster care worker of the need for alternate caregiver approval a minimum of 3 weeks in advance to allow for completion of background checks, house assessment, and all necessary documentation prior to use of alternate caregiver.
OKLAHOMA CARE PROVIDER OF THE MONTH
Hollie and Christopher Herriman have been a certified foster home with TFI since April 2016. They have had placement of a sibling group of 3 children since they were first certified. When the Herriman’s were first certified, they were planning to only accept placement of one or two children but when they learned about a sibling set of three, they opened their home and hearts to accepting placement to ensure the siblings were not separated. They ensure the children receive the services they need and have worked with the children through their trauma and behaviors without disruption. The Herriman’s have a very family centered unit. They enjoy eating meals together around the dining room table and enjoy going on vacations together as a family. They treat all children in the home equally as a valued member of the family by showing acceptance, patience, love and support. The Herriman’s go above and beyond to meet the needs of the children and ensure every child that enters their home feels a sense of belonging. They have since consented to adopt all three children to ensure sibling connections and permanency for the children by being their forever family. TFI is thankful to have such a wonderful family which helps to provide care for children in foster care.
TEXAS NEWS & UPDATES
TFI foster families recently enjoyed Foster Parent Appreciation Night at the Ranger game on June 21st. Approximately 60 people attended including Texas Family Initiative staff and foster families. Everyone enjoyed a tailgate party with hot dogs and hamburgers, then attended the baseball game and watched the spectacular fireworks show afterwards!
As you all know we have over a half a million children in foster care across the United States. 500,000 children out of their homes from some sort of abuse or neglect. It doesn’t matter the age or the reason…it does matter what we do once they are here. We want them to be able to return home to a family that has worked toward being healthy and safe. We hope that family can be their birth family, but if not we want families like YOU that will help guide them through the losses and teach them their new normal. So once again, here we are asking you to help us find more people like you. As they said on Sesame Street, we need “for now families” and we also need some “forever families.”
So my next question is …. Have you seen our new yard signs?
They are super cute and we need you to help us out with them. When your worker comes by for a visit ask for a sign to put in your yard. If you know of any other person or business that would let us put one up, tell your worker so they can drop by and chat with them and put up a sign.
We so appreciate all you do and believe me, we can’t do it without you! Have a great Fourth of July Holiday! Be safe and have fun.
Community Liaison Coordinator
William & Nancy Weigant
Jesse & Barbara McCarley
Orlando & Sheila Garza
Russell & Linda Groenendyk
Rayvon & Michal Lattimore
Christopher & Quinn Jacobs
Eber Barrios & Paula Huerta
Thomas & Jennifer Godfrey
Matt & Heather Clymer
Timothy & Tonya White
Daniel & Kathryn Ridley
Larry & Chelsy Kirchner
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When a foster or adopted child has special needs, parents must juggle appointments with mental health therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, psychiatrists, ophthalmologists, allergists, and asthma specialists. They must attend IEP meetings, keep in touch with the school principal and their child’s teacher, check in with the social worker, and establish a schedule for personal care attendants (PCAs). Ongoing appointments and emergencies keep parents so busy that attending to their own feelings and needs may be put on hold.
Self-care, however, is crucial for foster and adoptive parents.