I’ve been at Amara 31 years and I still get excited when I am meeting a family for the first time. Our families come in and we’re with them for two–sometimes three–years. We do monthly home visits so I get to see children grow over that time. When families come to Amara events, parents put their kids in front of me and ask, “Do you remember her?”

I always embrace the entirety of the child. Every child has a story. A biological family. I try to help bring families together. We do that now at the beginning as best we can with icebreaker meetings to help both families – the foster family and the birth family meet each other, work together, and focus their attention on the child. It can really help the child with their sense of identity, their grief and loss from separation.

I became a foster parent myself because I had a child I was mentoring. She was 10 years old at the time. I knew her mother, who was ill. I spent the summer trying to mentor her prior to her mother passing. My extended family – my parents, sisters and brother embraced her. I had to get a foster license so that I could parent her. She’s in her forties now — she’s my daughter. I’ve had many foster children through the years. They’re my children!

I am a caseworker, mother, wife, aunt, and daughter.

We are parents, grandparents, and Amara supporters.

In celebration of Foster Care Awareness Month in May, we are highlighting the extensive network of support that surrounds the child in foster care. From foster families to extended family members, to teachers and foster care youth advocates. We appreciate the unique strengths and skills that each role brings to ensure that children in foster care have the love and support they need to thrive. We salute you!