Between Families – November 2021

Quality Parenting Initiative

TFI is excited to announce that we have recently partnered with the Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) and are currently training our staff on QPI values, theory and techniques. QPI is a process to strengthen foster care and improve permanency and well-being for children by shifting systems away from a bureaucracy and toward an approach based on relationships. QPI is based on three core principles:

  1. Consistent excellent parenting and meaningful relationships are the most important services we can provide to children and youth in foster care. Every policy, practice action and statement the system adopts should strengthen parenting skills and relationships.
  2. Research on child, youth and brain development and the effect of trauma not only demonstrates the importance of parenting and positive relationships, but also provides guidance on how best to support them. Agency policy and practice should be informed by research.
  3. The individuals most affected by policies and practices, are in the best position to design and implement change so that systems ensure excellent parenting and meaningful relationships for children who enter their care.

Selected TFI staff will undergo an 8-month training period to become our QPI “Champions.” Once these champions have completed their training, they will begin disseminating QPI trainings to other TFI staff, foster families, kinship parents and birth parents. For more information on QPI, visit Quality Parenting Initiative (qpi4kids.org).

Kansas Care Provider of the Month

Amy Kirk is this months Kansas Care Provider because she always goes above and beyond for her kids. She does everything she can to provide a safe and loving environment. She’s willing to do anything, be anything, for the kids placed in her care.

Amy is an advocate for the youth in her home. She strives to help co-parent and make the transition between visits easier for the child and the bio family. She helps prepare the children, meeting the family at a park and the youth are able to pick out gifts for their bio family to help feel included throughout the process. TFI is thankful to have Amy as a role model to our children in need and a support to our other homes.

Kansas News

The holiday season is quickly approaching and our staff have been preparing to ensure every foster child placed in one of our homes receives a Christmas gift. To help our staff, please ensure a “wish list” is completed and returned to your foster care worker promptly so our holiday sponsors have plenty of time to purchase a gift for our kids. Please have all lists returned by 11/13.

For our Kansas families, we will be conducting another virtual Christmas party for our foster families and youth. Please be on the lookout for the date and be sure to RSVP.

Oklahoma Care Provider of the Month

Kendal and Melna Morrison were certified in April 2021. They are licensed to provide placement for five children, and they currently have placement of three children in their home. The Morrisons have provided care for a total of nine children since becoming certified. Kendal and Melna are strong advocates for special services for children when needed. They actively seek resources for children in their care, and they also work diligently to bridge with the biological parents to maintain important connections between the children and their biological families. TFI is blessed to have the Morrisons as a part of the TFI family, and we are very thankful for the love and nurturing they provide children placed in their home.

Oklahoma News

With the holidays approaching, I know that everyone will be enjoying time with their families and friends. The holidays are a busy time for everyone. I want to ensure that everyone has completed their 12 annual training hours for 2021. There are about two months left in the year to achieve those hours. There are several ways to obtain training hours throughout the year to include:

  • Monthly Foster Parent Support Group Meeting – Virtual = 1 hour credit
  • TFI Newsletter trainings – Monthly online = 30 minutes credit
  • Talking points (provided by your worker) – Monthly = 30 minutes credit
  • Workshops/conference (total hours-attach agenda) – Varies
  • Non-Fiction Books (title, author, total number of pages) – 50 pages = 1 hour credit
  • Documentary/educational video (title, total hours) – 1 hour = 1 hour credit

A training credit verification form will need to be completed and turned into your worker to obtain credit for the workshop, non-fiction books and educational videos. Please contact your worker if you need more information.

Texas Care Provider of the Month

The Robinson family is headed by Julie Robinson of Abilene, Texas. Julie and her fiancé Charles have been caring for her god-daughter’s infant Kymberlynn since she was five months old. Last month at the age of two years, Julie adopted Kymberlynn to provide her forever-home. Charles and Julie are both very invested in providing little Kymberlynn with the loving, nurturing home she deserves. Charles’s two sons are excited to be Kymberlynn’s big brothers. The family enjoys going to the farmer’s market, Ranger’s games, cooking out and building on rich holiday traditions, as they maintain a “Christmas tree” year round, redecorating it for each holiday. We are excited for this TFI family and their future together.

Texas News

Exciting things continue to happen in Texas! So far this fall, Texas Foster Care has helped nine foster children find their forever families through adoption. With November being National Adoption Month, Texas will continue to help families come together with more adoptions scheduled to take place. Texas Foster Care has recently expanded into the Tyler and New Braunfels/San Antonio areas of Texas. We are thrilled to be able to offer our high quality foster and adoption services to these new communities. Texas Foster Care continues to serve conventional foster families, kinship families, and families seeking placement of children from other states through the federal Interstate Compact program.

Texas Family Initiative continues to make progress in opening a child care operation that specializes in caring for survivors of human trafficking. The facility is currently under construction with plans to open in the early Winter of 2022. Once open, this facility will serve up to 25 female survivors of human trafficking in both an emergency and long-term capacity. In addition, Texas Family Initiative has just announced that they are opening a child care operation in the Wichita Falls area that will provide an array of services to up to 25 male and female children with high level needs. A groundbreaking is scheduled for November 2021, with the doors planning to open in early Summer 2022.

Nebraska Care Provider of the Month

Steven and Debra Heider opened their home for foster care in June of 2020. Since then they have accepted several placements. They are currently providing care for a two-year-old boy. Steve works as an equipment mechanic and Debra is an author of Christian novels. Steve and Debra do a great job working in collaboration with TFI and birth parents for children placed in their home to ensure a positive environment for all. The family enjoys attending church functions where they are active members. They also like participating in activities as a family and are very inclusive and welcoming with the children in their care into those activities. The Heiders want to provide the best home that they can to children in need and even seek additional training to be able to learn new strategies and techniques to help foster children. We at TFI look forward to continuing our collaboration with this family as they assist to help meet the challenges and needs of children in the Nebraska foster care system.

Nebraska News

Nebraska continues to work with Nebraska Department or Health and Human Services, as well as Saint Francis, to place kids in our Nebraska foster homes. TFI offers services to help families including foster care, adoption services, Supervised Parenting time and Family Support. We are dedicated to the well-being of our families and the children we place. With this in mind, we have scheduled more MAPP/DT trainings through the end of the year. We are excited to announce Anne Peterson as our new Foster Care Supervisor for Nebraska and parts of Kansas. We have opened an office in Lincoln, Nebraska and have welcomed a new staff member, Tiffany Mullison, to cover the Lincoln, Omaha and Nebraska City areas.

Training Corner

Preparing Youth and Foster Care Givers for the Holiday Season

As we approach the holiday season it is important to understand that this time of year can be particularly hard for youth in out of home placement. Here are some tips for preparing for the holiday season.

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 November

Recruitment Spotlight

We’re excited to announce that TFI will be starting our Christmas Recruitment Campaign on November 1! The campaign will run from November 1 to December 23. We have challenged our staff with a goal of 500 foster family referrals. We would love for our foster families to help us reach this goal by referring a family to us using our new online application at https://tfifamily.org/become-a-foster-parent/.

For every family that you refer that becomes licensed, you will receive a referral incentive ($500-$600) based on your level in our TFI Ambassador program. You will also gain entries into our drawing for a $1,000 gift card at the end of the year. Let’s use this recruitment campaign as an opportunity to gain more foster homes for our children in care before Christmas arrives.

Curtis Anderson
Recruitment Supervisor

Fund Development

Hello and happy fall! It’s been a busy time for the fund development folks.
We had a wonderful time recently with our annual golf tournament in the Topeka area – a fun time was had by all and more than $84,000 was raised for children in foster care! Thanks to all the great folks who participated and to the volunteers who made the event happen.

Coming up on Friday, November 12, we will have our “Golf Ball Drop” to raise money for Christmas presents for kids in all of our agencies – be on the lookout for emails and social media posts on how to buy chances to win! All of the funds will go to local offices to buy Christmas presents for kids in care.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any contacts, questions, or fun stories of generosity at 918.728.3378 or at smandeville@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 Ryan and Mickelle Eckert. 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 November to accept your prize.

Happy Anniversary

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

25 Years
Arnold Downing

14 Years
Travis & Anne Abbott

9 Years
Peggy Crawford
Henri Jean Howie

7 Years
Anne Scalet & Dawn Quinton

6 Years
Sarah & Ashlee Wilson

5 Years
Steve Mathis

1 Year 
William Kenny & Sarah Spencer
My’Kera Simms
Dakota & Katlyn Roubideaux
Joshua & Elisha Goossen
Erin Pickering & Kayla Prater
Angela Morris

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.