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Utah Foster Care | The Foster Blog by Marissa Douglas - 1w ago

Utah is a vast state, and the need for foster parents is just as expansive – we need them in urban areas like the Wasatch Front, and in rural communities as well. I work in the Richfield/Manti area, educating my community about the needs of our area and answering questions from families interested in providing safe, loving homes for children in foster care.

One of the most common questions I get is, what qualities make a good foster parent? After seeing many families deal with the challenges of this important role, I’ve put together my own “Top Ten” list of the attributes I have seen in successful foster families.

  • Stability and Consistency:  Provide structure, routine and rules. All of us want to know what is expected of us. Once that is outlined, be consistent in your follow through, conversation and action. “Trust is built upon the foundation of consistency.”
  • Adaptability: Navigating the child welfare system can be frustrating and confusing. Be adaptive to change and learn to roll with the punches.
  • Communicate: As a foster parent, be clear, open, and upfront. Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions and seek to understand. You will be spending a lot of time listening and speaking to your child in foster care, the case worker, the child’s therapist, birth parents, etc. Interacting openly with those involved in the case will start things off in the right direction.
  • Empathy: Showing kindness and being aware of the feelings of a child placed in foster care is vital. All kids need to know they are loved, but kids in foster care NEED to feel it, hear it, and see it. Let that emotional connection be felt.
  • Support system:  You will need someone to talk to, share successes, failures, disappointments, and triumphs. Foster parenting is not an individual sport, it’s a team sport, so build your network. Reach out to others, surround yourself with people who “get it” and will be a resource for you. (Utah Foster Care’s local support groups are a great resource!)
  • Acceptance: Kids in foster care come with huge challenges. Learn to accept them as they are. Be welcoming of their past and their biological family. They will always love their birth parents and desire to have a relationship with them.
  • Resiliency: With parenting, there is no comprehensive manual, although we could all use one! Don’t give up when things get tough– bounce back from challenges, determined to try harder and do better. Kids deserve someone who is committed and will advocate for them.
  • Self-educate: During your journey through the foster care system you will encounter many unknowns. Take classes to educate yourself, this may be on ways to manage difficult behaviors, effective discipline techniques, trauma and attachment.
  • Patience, patience, patience: As I sit down to interview prospective foster/adoptive parents, this is the number one advice I give. If you don’t have a patient demeanor, you better find your inner calm before you begin! Be patient as you allow children in foster care the time to adapt to a new environment; sight, smell, sound, taste and touch. EVERYTHING is very different from what he/she is used to.
  • Sense of humor: Learn to laugh at yourself, mistakes and misunderstandings. “Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.” As a parent myself, I try to find a reason to smile each day. Try it—a smile is contagious!

If seeing these ten attributes and thinking, “I can never measure up,” let me remind you of another reality: you don’t have to be perfect to be a foster parent. You will need nurturing, just like the children in your home.

We have learned it is critical that foster parents learn how to take care of themselves, and Utah Foster Care offers a village of support services, through foster parent appreciation events and ongoing training. I’d love to tell you more about this and our upcoming classes to prepare you for this important work.

If you have ever considered fostering, I encourage you to call (877) 505-5437 and we can connect you to staff members like me who live and work in your community. We look forward to talking with you soon!

Marissa Douglas is Foster-Adoptive Consultant for Utah Foster Care in Sevier and Sanpete Counties.

The post Top Ten List appeared first on Utah Foster Care.

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Accountant

Location: Murray, Utah
Reports to:
CEO
Closing Date: July 15, 2019
Position Type:  30+ hours with benefits
Annual Salary: $39k – $46k, depending on experience

Want to use your skills to help children? This is the job for you.

Utah Foster Care (UFC), a non-profit child welfare agency, is seeking an Accountant, to be located in Murray,  Utah.

The ideal candidate will be involved with preparing financial reports and statements, bank reconciliations, and preparing for cyclical audits. Moreover, the candidate must have strong interpersonal skills and possess a strong business acumen.

Duties include:

    • Accounts payable and receivable; follow generally accepted accounting principles.
    • Month end closing, GL account reconciliations and financial statement preparation
    • Maintain accurate financial records and the chart of accounts, maintain organization’s cash flow
    • Prepare annual organizational budget, in various formats, for interested parties. Including, Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS), and private funders.  Monitor each month’s budget and communicate variances to program directors and board of directors.  Monitor the usage of grants, restricted and unrestricted funds.
    • Prepare all accounting records for Independent Auditor’s annual audit.
    • Tax returns: prepare all information needed for CPA firm to complete yearly tax Form 990 and Form 1099.

Requirements:  Bachelor’s degree from four-year college or university in Accounting; a minimum of three years work related experience with progressive responsibilities; or equivalent combination of education and experience.  Non-profit experience is preferred

  • Benefits: 401 (k), PTO, Insurance: Medical, Dental, Vision
  • Effective written and oral communication skills
  • Organized
  • Goal oriented

EOE

Submit resumes at https://utahfostercare.org/forms/hr-application-employment/

The post HIRING: Accountant appeared first on Utah Foster Care.

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Trainer – 10 hours a week

Location: Orem/Provo, Utah

Reports to: Regional Trainer

Closing Date: April 30, 2019

Salary: $15 – $19 per hour, depending on experience

Want to use your skills to help children? This is the job for you.

Utah Foster Care (UFC), a non-profit child welfare agency, is seeking a Part-time (10 hours a week) Trainer in Orem/Provo, Utah.

Duties include:

  • Assist Regional Trainer with training potential foster/adoptive families
  • Data entry
  • Training class preparation
  • Evenings and some weekend hours

Job qualifications & requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree  (B.S.) from a four-year college or university in Social Work, Sociology, Social Science or Public Administration: or equivalent years of experience required
  • Public speaking and presentation skills necessary
  • Current Driver’s License and reliable registered transportation
  • Experience with a non-profit or governmental child welfare agency is preferred
  • Knowledge of DCFS foster care/adoptive policy and procedure is preferred
  • Some travel required

EOE

Submit resumes at https://utahfostercare.org/forms/hr-application-employment/

The post HIRING: TRAINER – Part time – OPEN POSITION appeared first on Utah Foster Care.

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Childhood relationships are precious and can last a lifetime. Of the many friendships we develop early in life, our brothers and sisters are our first friends and the ones designed to last the longest! Coming into foster care shouldn’t change that.

This very idea is what helped my family grow so big so fast.  During our 12 years as licensed foster parents, my wife and I adopted five sibling groups that, in addition to our own four children, gave us a total of 20 children! The largest of those sibling groups, a group of five, recently had a beautiful 2-week-old sister join them in our home!  Keeping siblings together is very important to our family!

The Division of Child & Family Services (DCFS) wants to keep siblings together when they are placed foster care, whenever possible. Often, that is difficult to do when more than 80% of the children are coming with a sibling and many new foster parents are choosing to take a single child.

Many times, the available bedroom space or family dynamics make it impossible for families to take more than one child and still be in compliance with licensing rules. Sometimes, the sibling groups are so large that finding a single placement is hard to do. Other times, fear drives the decision to care for only a single child. I’d like to address that.

As a Foster Adoptive Consultant with Utah Foster Care, I often hear families tell me that they want to “ease in to caring for children” because they are not sure if they can handle more than one child. During those interviews, I get to remind families that no matter how prepared they become, through study or experience, when your first child comes there is going to be a bit of a learning curve each parent must go through. This applies to all children, not just those in foster care.

I recently interviewed a family training to become foster parents. Jim (not his real name) aged out of the foster care system and is now a happily married father of two. He and his wife want to be foster parents because of the difference good families made in his life. During his time in foster care, he was able to stay with his brothers and sisters. Jim told me that it made all the difference. He said, “Staying together helped us not be too scared during those hard times and it also made us feel safe and important.”

If you are a currently licensed foster parent, we’d like you to consider caring for siblings or increasing the number of siblings you can welcome into your home. If you are not licensed, maybe now is the time. Fill out a request for information on our website and we will get you the details you need to start you on your journey to helping brothers and sisters in foster care not only stay together, but feel safe and important.

John Thill’s insight into sibling relationships comes from experience and runs deep in his family. He and wife Cayce recently added a newborn to the “Thill tribe”. (Note: Only 13 of them still live at home in Orem. )

The post Siblings – Keep them together appeared first on Utah Foster Care.

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Accountant

Location:                      Murray, Utah
Reports To:                  CEO
Closing Date:               February 15, 2019
Salary:                         $25-30 depending on experience
Position Type:              Part-time with some benefits

 Job Description:  include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Accounts payable and receivable; follow generally accepted accounting principles.
  • Month end closing, GL account reconciliations and financial statement preparation
  • Maintain accurate financial records and the chart of accounts, Maintain Foundation’s cash flow
  • Prepare annual organizational budget, in various formats, for interested parties. Including, Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS), and private funders.  Monitor each month’s budget and communicate variances to program directors and board of directors.  Monitor the usage of grants, restricted and unrestricted funds.
  • Prepare all accounting records for Independent Auditor’s annual audit.
  • Tax returns: prepare all information needed for CPA firm to complete yearly tax Form 990 and Form 1099.
  • Prepare financial statements for Board of Directors meetings and mailings, and attend Board of Directors meetings and Executive Committee meetings as requested by the CEO

 Requirements:  Bachelor’s degree from four-year college or university in Accounting; a minimum of three years work related experience with progressive responsibilities; or equivalent combination of education and experience.  Non-profit experience is preferred

  • Benefits: 401 (k), PTO
  • Effective written and oral communication skills
  • Organized
  • Goal oriented

EOE

Submit resumes at https://utahfostercare.org/forms/hr-application-employment/

The post HIRING: Accountant appeared first on Utah Foster Care.

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Looking at children’s trauma thru a strength-based lens

Trauma and attachment have become the key topics on which Utah Foster Care’s annual Symposium has focused for the last few years. Foster parents tell us that recognizing and dealing with trauma-based behaviors in children is one of their main challenges.

This year, we have an incredible opportunity to hear from, not just one, not two, but three outstanding speakers- all of them seasoned clinicians who have seen first-hand in their practices what works. These wonderful professionals are leaders in their fields and dynamic presenters.

Dr. David Schramm: “Parenting Tips, Tricks, and Traps: Simple Principles to Help Things Go Right” – Dr. Schramm will give us new ideas to positively approach trauma-related behaviors that our children experience on a daily basis.

Dr. Elisabeth Conradt: “Epigenetics; Your DNA Does Not Define You” – Dr. Conradt explains nature vs. nurture and how we can change behaviors. 

Rebecca Pierce will wrap up with ways to integrate strengths through nurturing parenting interventions.

We invite foster parents and child welfare professionals to join us and learn from the best, receive in-service hours and mingle with foster and adoptive parents from all around Utah.  Hear the new ideas, see fresh faces, and feel supported as a community of foster/adoptive families! 

When: Thursday, April 25th 

Where: Park City Doubletree 

Time:   9:00am – 4:00pm 

Cost:    $20.00 per person (foster/adoptive parents) 

            $129.00 (early bird before March 15th) clinicians, general public 

            $149.00 (after March 1st) clinicians, general public 

In-service/NASW (pending) hours: 5.5 

Register at ufcsymposium.eventbrite.com.

Mick Woolsey, LCSW, is Director of Education for Utah Foster Care.

The post Training for Trauma appeared first on Utah Foster Care.

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I had the great opportunity to be born in a part of California where everyone looked and talked just like I me. Most of my close neighborhood friends were first generation Hispanic Americans, and so I assumed everyone ate the same foods and spoke Spanish in their homes, as we did.

It was not until I started school that I realized that not everyone was like my family and me. I remember going to kindergarten and being placed in English for Secondary Learners (ESL) classes, since the school at that time was not accustomed to having children in the school who were bilingual speakers. The food that they served in the cafeteria was also very different from the food I ate at home. It was also clear that the other children at school were not like my friends and me, and they made sure I knew I was different.

What made the hard times in school easier was that I had a family who understood what I was going through. They showed me how to navigate being Hispanic in an American society and be proud of where I came from. They demonstrated how to be proud of my culture and language. My parents felt it was important to retain their native language, Spanish, so we could show we were proud of where we came from.

Children from our Hispanic community here in Utah still going through some of the same struggles I did growing up. Children from our community sometimes face an even harder struggle when they are placed into foster care, since they may not be placed in a Hispanic home. They sometimes feel like those in their foster homes do not look like them, speak like them, or eat foods like they are used to and because of this may feel like they do not belong making their trauma even worse.

We need Hispanic families who can open up their hearts and home to help children in our community who are in foster care feel like they belong. We need families who can help these children navigate through a society where they may not always feel like they belong.

If you are interested in learning more about how to help children in foster care, Utah Foster Care is holding two information nights along the Wasatch Front.

  • Thursday, February 7th at 6:00pm – Utah Foster Care offices, 274 West Center Street in Orem
  • Wednesday, March 20th at 6:00pm – Utah Foster Care offices, 5296 South Commerce Drive, Suite 400, in Murray

We would love for you to join us! If you can, please contact me at (801) 783-4303.

The post Comparta su corazón appeared first on Utah Foster Care.

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Foster/Adoptive Family Consultant

Location:                    Murray, Utah
Reports To:                 Lead Consultant
Closing Date:              January 31, 2019
Salary:                         $15-20 depending on experience
Position Type:            Full Time with Benefits

 Want to use your skills to help children? This is the job for you.

 Utah Foster Care Foundation, a non-profit child welfare agency, is seeking a Foster/Adoptive Family Consultant for Salt Lake and Tooele counties.

Duties include:

  • Implement local and statewide strategies to find qualified foster/adoptive families, including working closely with foster/adoptive parents, DCFS, local businesses and other community partners.
  • Conduct in-home consultations with prospective foster/adoptive families
  • Position will represent Utah Foster Care in the community and develop public awareness for a given geographical area.
  • Requires some evening/weekend hours, and travel.
  • Valid Driver’s License & reliable vehicle required

Benefits: Health & Life insurance, 401 (k), PTO

Bachelor’s degree (B.S.) from a four-year college or university in Social Work, Sociology, Social Science or Public Administration: or equivalent years of experience

Experience with a non-profit or governmental child welfare agency is preferred

Knowledge of DCFS foster care/adoptive policy and procedure is preferred

EOE

Submit resumes at https://utahfostercare.org/forms/hr-application-employment/

The post HIRING: Foster/Adoptive Family Consultant – OPEN POSITION appeared first on Utah Foster Care.

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“When I realized that I was making a decision about a specific boy, and not just any random teen, it made a difference.” 

Karrie, a Salt Lake Region foster parent, was referring to the difference it made in her ability to make a decision. As she considered what children she might care for, she was thinking about age ranges. But later, as she considered the specific children, her focus became the child and she found herself no longer looking at the child’s age. This realization didn’t just make a difference in her decision-making. It also made a difference…a big difference…in the lives of teens she has since cared for.

Each year, Utah Foster Care hosts a number of special events that focus on educating prospective foster parents about fostering teenagers. At the events, you will get to hear from local foster families and teens themselves.

Some examples of questions that come up:

“What kind of support do families caring for teens get?”  “How do you deal with sibling rivalry?”  “Can they be left home alone when I go to the store?”  “Do you have children the same age and how do they fit together?”  “Do you recommend caring for children younger than yours or older?”  “What can you do to build a relationship with them?”  And to the teen on the panel, “How long did it take you to feel trust? How long before it felt like your home?”

I think what stands out to me isn’t that these are teens IN FOSTER CARE.  But that they are TEENS, who happen to be in foster care. And the foster families on the panel seemed to emphasize that, reporting that friends and neighbors have all experienced situations with their own children that aren’t much different than what they have seen as foster parents.  (As the father of two teen boys, I am a witness to the fact that they don’t always get along, sometimes things get broken, and that no one likes to clean their room or do homework – well, unless it is their turn to wash the dishes.)

About half of the children in foster care are teens.  And caring for teens has its benefits—like no diapers and they feed and dress themselves. Yet, our staff members struggle to find enough families for all of the children who are ready to be placed in a family setting. For some reason we get scared by the age, when perhaps a better focus when determining our capacity to care for them would be the youth’s behavior and needs.  As one of the panelists put it, “You think you’re scared?  Think how scared these kids are.  The stakes are higher for them.”

Our Ask a Foster Parent events focusing on teens are listed at https://www.facebook.com/pg/utahfostercare/events/. Don’t hesitate to call us if you have questions or just to RSVP. We’ll be glad to help explain the process and get you started.

The post Straight Talk from Teens appeared first on Utah Foster Care.

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Utah Foster Care | The Foster Blog by Deborah Lindner - 6M ago

On behalf of the foster families in Utah, we would like to thank you for reaching into your heart to provide a joyous Christmas for children throughout the state.

Your gifts went a long way – here’s where!

  • A total of 784 children, from babies and toddlers to teenagers, received presents for the holidays from the Basin to Moab to St. George, and along the Wasatch Front.
  • Cash donations allowed us to purchase gift cards for more than 35 children who were placed in foster homes during the final days before Christmas.
  • Local community groups threw holiday parties and dinners for foster families braving the holiday season – including Eastern Utah Community Credit Union, Price Kiwanis, and Staheli Family Farm in southern Utah.
  • Brighton Ski Resort collected a truckload of toys that were distributed in Grand and San Juan Counties.
  • More than 107 airmen from Hill AFB spent their own gas money and vacation time to deliver gifts to foster families in Salt Lake and Northern Utah.

Christmas can be a difficult time for children and teens in foster care. They are in a new environment, filled with uncertainty. One foster mom told us, “That basketball hoop is exactly what our little guy asked for – both our little are going to have such a magical Christmas!”

Amy Morris and her husband had just finalized the adoption of seven brothers and sisters. For the Morris family and so many others, your generosity helped make it a Christmas to remember.

The post For ME?? appeared first on Utah Foster Care.

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