March is National Social Work Appreciation Month!
Social Work Appreciation Month is here! TFI invites you to join us as we celebrate our social workers! Tell your worker you appreciate them this month, as we know they deserve it!
WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL SOCIAL WORK MONTH
- Social Workers need some R&R
Arguably few people work harder than social workers. They don’t have standard 9-5 workdays, but rather go where and when needed to support those in need. This month let’s help social workers feel more celebrated and cared for – they need the relaxation as they continue to serve our communities tirelessly.
- They are inspirational!
Social workers change lives. From helping someone plagued with substance abuse or depression improve their mental health to helping place children in the right homes for adoption, your brush with a social worker might be one that sets your life on a different (better) trajectory. We all are inspired by the help they give us – we think they deserve a special month for that alone!
- We get the chance to show our appreciation!
Social workers often deal with meager salaries and cut budgets. For all they do for those in need and our society, we’re lucky to get the month to celebrate them and acknowledge their contributions! This month is a great opportunity to donate and support social workers.
Kansas Care Provider of the Month
Ashlee and Earl Barkley have been foster parents with TFI since 2017 but were fostering long before that. They have seven children of their own, a mix of biological children and adopted children. After their most recent adoption was finalized, they decided to keep their home open and recently took in two teen brothers to help keep them together. They stay on top of appointments, keep workers informed, and advocate for the children in their home. Ashely and Earl, thank you both for all that you do provide a loving and stable home to children in need.
Nebraska Care Provider of the Month
Eddie and Sarah Mariel provide excellent foster care for their current placement. Eddie, Sarah, and their children accepted this child into their home in December of 2021. The love this family has for him and his love reciprocated to the family is heartwarming and evident to all who know them. We are so lucky to have them in our foster community!
Texas Care Provider of the Month
Robert and Martha Trevino of Wichita Falls, Texas joined the TFI family in November of 2021 intending to foster-to-adopt their three grandchildren, three-year-old girl and brothers aged two and one. The Trevinos have demonstrated providing a loving, nurturing, and stable home for the three siblings who respond positively to their care. The adoption was consummated October 13, 2022, and they couldn’t be happier. The family enjoys playtime, the outdoors, dining out and attending community events together. We are proud to partner with Trevino’s to meet the needs of children in Texas best.
Oklahoma Care Provider of the Month
Nick and Kayla Choate have a heart for children. They have been providing a safe and loving home for children in Oklahoma State custody since April 2021. They currently have placement of a sibling set of three. They started their fostering journey with placement of an infant boy but took placement of his two older sisters seven months later to help keep the siblings together.
Nick and Kayla continue to support sibling connections by assisting with sibling visits for children placed in their home each month when their supervisor visits with siblings that reside with another family. TFI is truly honored and proud to partner with the Choate family and we are grateful for all you do for Oklahoma’s children and families.
Therapeutic foster care is separate from traditional foster care but Traditional Foster Homes can become Therapeutic Foster Homes. The Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) program assists school-aged children who have unique life experiences that require an enhanced understanding of each child’s individual needs. “Our TFC families can make the difference between children growing up in group homes or shelters, or growing up in a family,” said OKDHS Director of Child Welfare Services Dr. Deborah Shropshire.”
Families who are considering TFC should know they will never be alone. An entire team is committed to the success of TFC foster families and will support you every step of the way. TFC families receive many additional supports to help children succeed in their homes including arranged respite care, medical insurance, counseling services, access to 24/7 crisis response, trauma-informed training and many other supportive resources.
To learn more about becoming a Therapeutic Foster Care Family, talk to your Foster Care Worker.
How to Advocate for Your Foster Child in the Public School System
Advocating for your foster child in the educational setting can be confusing and complicated. About half of the children in care under five have developmental delays. Click below to read the article and learn more.
Are You Ready to Keep a Promise?
This is the question that we asked of all of you when you began the journey of becoming a foster parent. In Foster parent trainings, we painted the picture of the highs and lows of what fostering a child means. We explained that a child’s trust is a treasure. In addition, the years of broken promises shatter a child’s ability to trust. We took you through guided imagery of what a child goes through taken from their home with little time to prepare them, no time for goodbyes, and few answers to their questions. No way to soothe their fears or to help the tears stop. With all that information, you all joined us in taking care of the children in need. To say the least, I am in awe.
You deal with the aftermath of pain, abuse, neglect, anger, and broken promises. Still, you offer hugs, guidance, and love to show them what their normal should be like. You talk, console, redirect and probably secretly cry occasionally. However, every day you get up and start all over again.
This is why it is so important for all of you to help us recruit more families. You all are in the trenches and know what it takes to do what you do daily with our kids in need. We are all here to make sure our kids have homes and kept safe. You all are our best resource for finding families to become Foster Parents. You all have the hearts and the experience of what character it takes to be a good Foster Parent. We have staff that can help you with conversations or presentations that you would like to do in your community, just talk with your worker and they will reach out to our recruitment staff to help.
Spring is here!
We’re excited to get out and about and connect with our supporters. Here are a couple of highlights on our calendar:
- April 3, 2023, is our second annual Tee Off Fore Kids Golf Tournament in Southlake, Texas! As we roll out our programs and services in the metroplex, this will be a great time to let folks know what we’re up to and have some fun.
- May 23, 2023, we will revive our Pittsburg, Kansas golf tournament! Our partners at Watco have decided to help us with a tournament and we’ll be getting out the clubs for an event on a Tuesday morning in May. We’re excited to build some awareness about the great work our folks are doing there.
Thank you again to everyone who donated which also includes their time! We appreciate all your support.
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.
Terry & Sue Morrison
Brian & Denise Rokey
Earl & Ashlee Barkley
Robert & Carrie Boles
Ryan & Heather Haase
Frank & Crystal Herrera
Tracy & Teressa Schumacher
Tyler & Rebekah Roberts
David & Melanie King
Michael & Melissa Carter
Billy & Rachel Hager
Kregg & Katie Carothers
Jered & Marirae Rice
Timothy & Stephany Guffey
Makenzie Morris & Nancy Wiebe-Schmitt
Richard & Keirra Cooper
Cherie & Diana Nelson
Adam & Raegan Garbin
Bobby & Debra Shinkle
Tyler & Kandace Beachy
John & Roxanne Holden
Andrew & Emily Taylor
Ruben & Valerie Espino
Estefano & Jamie Estrada
Grover JR Stanfield & Patricia Kirchhoff
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.