Powerful Voices: CCAI Foster Youth Interns Release 2016 Report Findings

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The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute Announces the Release of its 2016 Foster Youth Internship Program® Policy Report: Powerful Voices, Sharing Our Stories to Reform Child Welfare

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CCAI Foster Youth Interns presenting their policy report recommendations at a congressional briefing on July 12, 2016.

Congratulations to the 2016 CCAI Foster Youth Internship Program® class on the release of their policy report, Powerful Voices: Sharing Our Stories to Reform Child Welfare. Each of our 12 Foster Youth Interns spent the summer not only interning on Capitol Hill, but also writing a policy report on how to better the foster care system, using inspiration from their personal experiences. Yesterday, at a congressional briefing, our talented Foster Youth Interns presented this report containing 22 significant policy recommendations to Members of Congress, congressional staff and the child welfare community. For nine consecutive years, the FYI Program’s congressional policy report has provided the federal government with real solutions to some of its most challenging problems in the child welfare system. Previous reports have resulted in new federal laws and legislation that helped the over 415,000 of children in the U.S. foster care system.

Read the report HERE!

Read a summary of their recommendations below!

Vaneshia Reed (CA): Over Criminalized and Under Licensed: Addressing Barriers to Kinship Care

  • Congress should require states to adopt the Criminal History Records Check-Standards of the National Model Family Foster Home Licensing Standards;
  • Congress should include a reporting mechanism to ensure accountability.

 LilCrystal Dernier (FL): Improving Foster Youth Relationships through Secure Attachment Training: A New Way Forward for Caregivers

  • Congress should create a pilot program to encourage the development of a “Secure Attachment Training” (SAT) curriculum by adapting existing evidence-based foster care training programs;
  • Congress should amend the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 to require foster parent training programs to include an evidence-based attachment curriculum.

Demetrius Johnson (NY): Subsidy Fraud: Exposing Adoption Subsidy Abuse

  • Congress should provide clarity in the law or guidance to states to require the termination of adoption subsidies where the adoptive parent is no longer providing support to an adopted child;
  • Congress should require states to annually track dissolutions to determine subsidy eligibility and investigate all suspected fraud cases.

Jason Morin (FL): Preserving Families Afflicted by Substance Abuse Through a Recovery-Focused Approach

  • Congress should require states to establish FDC standards as a prerequisite for the receipt of Title IV-E funding;
  • Congress should concurrently incentivize states to utilize a recovery-focused approach.

Erica Ontiveros (CA): Crossing System Lines: Collaborating to Improve Outcomes for Dual Involved Youth

  • Congress should establish a “Federal Data Gathering Unity for Dual Involved Youth” in the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and require each state to report data on dual involved youth for tracking to the new database;
  • Congress should set a federal minimum standard that state courts, juvenile delinquency agencies and child welfare agencies must identify dual involved within the first 14 days of a juvenile delinquency charge and cross-report to a designated office within the other entity.

Princess Harmon (MI): Financial Stability: Adoption Subsidies for Foster Parents

  • Congress should require states to set foster care reimbursement that are equal to the cost of raising a child in that state for a middle-income family, as well as reevaluate the rate annually to keep up with the inflation and the cost of living.

Precious Price (CT): The Over Prescription of Psychotropic Medication: Increasing Accountability and Credibility

  • Congress should allocate funds to develop a pilot program to establish a “Foster Care Mental Health Center” (FCMHC) to better serve the mental health needs of children in foster care;
  • Congress should establish a maintenance matching rate for any child welfare agency that employs child psychiatrists as mental health directors.

Kristopher Wannquist (WA): Extended Foster Care and Re-Entry: Increasing Success for Older Foster Youth

  • Congress should amend the Title IV-E of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 622, 1980) to require states extending foster care from age 18 to 21 to allow re-entry of youth into EFC, up to the age of 21;
  • Congress should require states who receive Title IV-E reimbursements for EFC to educate all foster youth on the eligibility for EFC, as well as their eligibility for re-entry until the state’s maximum age requirement. This education should occur during the youth’s transition planning required by law or no later than six months prior to their 18th

Victoria Wichman (OH): Fostering the Voiceless, Caring for Labels: Dedicated Advocates for Children in Foster Care

  • Congress should require states to ensure every foster youth has an advocate who advocates in their best interest;
  • As part of National Foster Care Awareness Month, Congress should designate a national awareness day regarding foster youth stereotypes and labels.

Jennifer Rhodes (TN): Foster Home Placement Preservation: Providing Permanency to Youth in the Foster Care System Limbo

  • Congress should incentivize states to preserve foster care placements by providing “In Home Foster Placement Preservation Services” in a pilot program;
  • Congress should establish a guideline for all foster youth to receive a 14 to 30 day notice of a placement change.

David Rivera (CA): Improving Placement Stability for All Youth in Foster Care

  • Congress should require states to report to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) the current number of youth in their child welfare systems who identify as LGBTQ;
  • Congress should require states to provide “LGBTQ Competency Training” for agencies and foster and adoptive families.

Ivy-Marie Washington (TX): Running from the System: Improving Placement Stability and Foster Youth Runaway Prevention

  • Congress should amend the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act of 2014 to restrict the renewal of a foster home license when multiple foster youth in the same home have been displaced due to alleged safety concerns and maltreatment by a foster parent.

We thank all of our Foster Youth Interns for their hard work this summer, and look forward to keeping you updated on the results of their recommendations. To learn more about CCAI’s Foster Youth Internship Program® and see this incredible program at work, click here.

Contact Martina Arnold to learn more about ways you can participate in supporting the individual interns. There are various needs and opportunities surrounding the program each summer. We would be honored to have you join us in celebrating these young leaders.

Martina can be reached at martina@ccainstitute.org.

 The Foster Youth Internship Program® is a signature program of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. To learn more, visit us at www.ccainstitute.org

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Former Foster Youth Excited For Opportunity On Capitol Hill

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2016 CCAI Foster Youth Intern Jennifer Rhodes, is originally from Baltimore, MD but grew up in East Tennessee. She is a recent graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in social work. She currently works in the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means through CCAI’s Foster Youth Internship Program®.

I remember the day jennI received the phone call that I had been selected to be a part of the 2016 Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s (CCAI) Foster Youth Internship Program®. I could not believe it! A few short months later, it was such an amazing feeling at college graduation to walk across the stage knowing that I would soon be headed to the nation’s capital to work for Congress and be a part of this amazing program. Flying to Washington, D.C. was an adventure in itself. Although I had visited before on educational trips, I had never flown alone. I remember feeling so thankful I was able to have a window seat as the plane started to land, and I got an amazing view of the beautiful city. In that moment, I thought to myself, “I made it, I am really here!”

Even though I’m living in a new city with completely new surroundings, I honestly haven’t had a moment where I’ve felt afraid. If anything, I could not be more excited to be working with other former foster youth, just like me, in an environment where we can combine our voices and stories to create such a powerful impact. One of the most empowering aspects of CCAI’s Foster Youth Internship Program® is knowing that all I endured in the foster care system is guiding my passion in life, and I stand here strong, supported and empowered with my CCAI family and fellow interns Crystal, David, Demetrius, Erica, Jason, Kris, Ivy-Marie, Precious, Princess, Tori and Vaneshia.

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This experience has afforded me the opportunity to intern with the United States House Ways and Means Committee at a time when a prominent piece of child welfare legislation is being considered. There are 6 subcommittees: Tax, Trade, Oversight, Social Security, Human Resources, and Health. The Committee has empowered me to reach out to the Human Resources Subcommittee and understand how child welfare is handled. I even had the opportunity to attend a mark-up for the Families First Prevention Services Act of 2016 with all of the Committee members and staff! One of my favorite opportunities so far was meeting with the different subcommittees and learning about the responsibilities they hold. It is such a privilege to see all the hard work that goes on at Capitol Hill and I am especially thankful for the incredibly diverse exposure I have received by being in this office.

There is an amazing amount of thought and detail by the CCAI staff that goes into every opportunity the Foster Youth Interns have here. I’m informed, prepared, supported and have the knowledge to access any necessary information that surrounds me. When  arriving to Washington, D.C., all of us FYI’s had  orientation and retreat, both of which gave me such a great opportunity to be ready both emotionally and professionally, and build relationships with everyone in the program. Alongside our congressional internship, we are each working hard to write a policy report full of recommendations for Congress to address issues in the U.S. foster care system. I am really looking forward to presenting my policy report recommendations at briefings to both Congress and the White House in July. I am excited to use my voice to address the frequent placement changes children in the foster care system experience. Research shows, and I know from experience, that bouncing from placement to placement has a negative and painful impact on children that can leave lasting affects.

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I can already tell leaving Washington, D.C. will be hard at the end of the summer, especially saying goodbye to my Foster Youth Intern cohort, but I’m excited to use the knowledge I’ve gained to continue to speak on behalf of vulnerable children in the foster care system. I hope to soon begin a dual degree Masters Program in Public Health and Social Work. I would eventually like to come back to Capitol Hill or serve in an organization that focuses on reforming the juvenile justice system. I know that this opportunity with the CCAI Foster Youth Internship Program® will lead me in directions I didn’t even know were possible.

There is so much to be grateful for, but what I am most grateful for is each and every person who saw the value in this powerful program. I am grateful for each Foster Youth Intern, for all of the CCAI staff, and those who take the time to provide us with the training and support to do our best during our time in D.C. It is so empowering to know that I have been selected to represent this program and am being supported in reaching my dreams so other foster youth can reach theirs too.

You can encourage and support the 2016 Foster Youth Interns!

  • Send us an email or note of encouragement for the 2016 class and we’ll read it at their weekly community meeting where they work on their policy reports.
  • Contact Martina Arnold to learn more about ways you can participate in supporting the individual interns. There are various needs and opportunities surrounding the program each summer. We would be honored to have you join us in celebrating these young leaders.

Martina can be reached at martina@ccainstitute.org.

The Foster Youth Internship Program® is a signature program of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. To learn more, visit us at www.ccainstitute.org

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Fostering Policy: Introducing CCAI’s 2016 Foster Youth Interns

Foster_Youth_logoEvery summer, one of CCAI’s great honors is to host 12 extraordinary young people on Capitol Hill in our Foster Youth Internship Program®. This unique program offers current and former foster youth from across the nation (now college students and recent graduates) the opportunity to participate in a prestigious congressional office internship assignment, and in addition, to use their own life experiences to inform the U.S. Congress about ways to improve the U.S. foster care system through the annual Foster Youth Internship Program® Report and Congressional Briefing.

In preparation for these high-impact writing and presentation components of the Foster Youth Internship Program®, these 12 young people will research issues facing children and youth in the U.S. foster care system, reflect and write about their own personal insights and research findings related to these issues, and offer positive policy solutions to improve the lives of the over 415,000 of children and youth currently in the U.S. foster care system. Previous Foster Youth Interns’ policy reports have led to new laws and policies and the introduction of recent bills like the Timely Mental Health Act of 2015.

The 2016 Foster Youth Interns began their congressional internships this week, and we want to introduce them to you!

crystalLilCrystal Dernier is an alumnus of Broward County’s foster care system and current Florida Atlantic University graduate student studying both criminology and non-profit management. This summer, LilCrystal is interning with U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and she will research placement stability and healthy relationships for foster youth for her CCAI Policy Report.
princessPrincess Harmon is an alumnus of Wayne County, Michigan’s foster care system and recently graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Communication. This summer, she is interning with the office of U.S. Representative Brenda Lawrence (D-MI). Inspired by her foster mom, Princess will research foster parent reimbursement rates and increasing financial support f or her CCAI Policy Report.

jasonJason Morin is an alumnus of Sarasota County, Florida’s foster care system. He recently graduated from the University of South Florida and is excited to start his first year of Law School at Florida International University this fall. Jason is interning with the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and he will research substance abuse and the child welfare system, including prevention and Family Drug Treatment Courts for his CCAI Policy Report.

EricaErica Ontiveros is an alumnus of Orange County’s foster care system. She recently graduated from California State University, Fullerton and she will attend her dream school, UCLA, in the fall to obtain her Masters in Social Work. This summer, she is interning with the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and she will research dual system-involved youth, focusing on the collaboration between the child welfare and juvenile justice systems for her CCAI Policy Report.
preciousPrecious Price is an alumnus of Connecticut’s foster care system and recently graduated with her Masters of Social Work from the University of Connecticut. This summer, she is interning with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and she will research the over-prescription of psychotropic medication for foster children and youth for her CCAI Policy Report.
vaneshiaVaneshia Reed spent her adolescent years in the Los Angeles County foster care system and most recently graduated from Harvard University with her Bachelors of Arts. Vaneshia is interning this summer with U.S. Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY). Vaneshia is excited to perform research about kinship care reform, including expanding a foster parent’s eligibility despite prior felony offenses for her CCAI Policy Report.
jennJennifer Rhodes is an alumnus of Tennessee’s foster care system and has continued to serve as a Peer Advocate for current foster youth. Most recently, she graduated from Middle Tennessee State University. Her internship placement is with the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and she will research permanency, including foster parent training and support for her CCAI Policy Report.
davidDavid Rivera has had 18 placements in the Tulare County, California foster care system and will be adopted by his foster parents this fall. He currently studies Communications at the College of the Sequoias. David’s internship this summer is with U.S. Representative Karen Bass (D-CA), and he will be researching placement stability of LGBTQ foster youth, including foster parent recruitment and training for his CCAI Policy Report.
KrisKristopher Wannquist spent his teenage years in Washington State foster care system. He attends Washington State University, where he is a rising junior majoring in Psychology. This summer, Kristopher is interning with U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA) and he will research extended foster care, including limiting eligibility and increasing accountability for his CCAI Policy Report.
ivyIvy-Marie Washington is an alumnus of Bexar County, Texas’s foster care system. Currently, she is a rising senior at Sam Houston State University where she is a Criminal Justice major. This summer, Ivy-Marie is interning in the office of U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and is keenly interested researching about juvenile law and runaway foster youth prevention for her CCAI Policy Report.
ToriVictoria Wichman spent time in 12 Ohio foster homes and 2 group homes during her time in foster care. She currently attends Hillsdale College in Michigan, is studying Psychology, and is on the track team. Victoria is interning in the office of U.S. Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) and she will research advocacy for foster youth for her CCAI Policy Report.
demetriusDemetrius Johnson is an alumnus of New York City’s foster care system and just graduated from St. John’s University. In the fall, Demetrius will be attending New York University and majoring in Business Management. His congressional internship this summer is in the office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and he will research adoption subsidies and limiting eligibility when adoption is dissolved for his CCAI Policy Report.

You can Encourage and support the 2016 Foster Youth Interns!

  • Send us an email or note of encouragement for the 2016 class and we’ll read it at their weekly community meeting where they work on their policy reports.
  • Contact Martina Arnold to learn more about ways you can participate in supporting the individual interns. There are various needs and opportunities surrounding the program each summer. We would be honored to have you join us in celebrating these young leaders.

Martina can be reached at martina@ccainstitute.org.

The Foster Youth Internship Program® is a signature program of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

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National Foster Care Month Briefing: Recruiting Top-Notch Caregivers and Foster Parents as a Pathway to Permanency

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National Foster Care Month Briefing:

Recruiting Top-Notch Caregivers and Foster Parents 

as a Pathway to Permanency

May 11, 2016

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U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) makes remarks. Photo Credit to Erica Baker Photography

There are currently more than 415,000 children in foster care and nearly 108,000 children waiting to be adopted.[1] Data indicates that among children who are adopted from foster care, the overwhelming majority are adopted by the foster parent (52%) or relative (32%) caring for them.[2]

Studies show that permanent, stable families lead to better life outcomes for children. In honor of National Foster Care Month, yesterday this bipartisan congressional briefing explored efforts to better recruit and retain quality caregivers as a pathway to permanency for children in foster care across the U.S.

Partnering with the Senate Foster Youth Caucus and Fostering Media Connections, CCAI was pleased to bring the voices of experts on both kinship and faith-based recruitment efforts to the U.S. Congress, particularly highlighting how particularly highlighting how a Colorado church has partnered with the state and local government to successfully lower the number of children waiting for adoption, and how a Pennsylvania county is raising the numbers of family taking in kin.

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Photo Credit to Erica Baker Photography

Themes from both panels included the need for and success derived from:

  • Culturally competent recruitment and licensing of families.
  • Collaboration with and support from the state and local child welfare agency.
  • Post-permanency and wrap-around support for families.
  • Honoring and engaging birth families and prioritizing reunification, with a willingness by caregivers to adopt should the child becomes eligible for adoption.

In advance of the briefing, we asked foster and kinship caregivers to respond to two questions in a survey and received 888 individual responses. Click to view the MAY 2016 SURVEY OF FOSTER AND KINSHIP CAREGIVER QUALITIES AND BARRIERS survey results.

Thank you to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), co-chairs of the Senate Foster Youth Caucus, for making this important briefing possible. Coming Soon: View the Caucus’ blog of this briefing.

[1] The AFCARS Report: Preliminary FY 2014 Estimates as of July 2015 Data. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Administration for Children and Families. Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, retrieved May 2, 2016, from: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/resource/afcars-report-22

[2] Id.

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Photo Credit to Erica Baker Photography

BRIEFING PANELISTS

Kathy Nuebel, Office of Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

Arnie Eby, Chair, National Foster Parent Association’s Public Policy Committee and President, Maryland Resource Parent Association

Daniel Heimpel, Fostering Media Connections (CA)

Dr. Sharon McDaniel, Founder and CEO, A Second Chance (PA)

Eugenia Saunders, Kin Caregiver (PA)

Azzer, Youth Voice (PA)

Mr. & Mrs. McBride, Kin Caregiver (PA)

Becky Weichhand, Executive Director, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (DC)

Elizabeth Wiebe, Vice President for Engagement, Christian Alliance for Orphans (DC)

Rhonda Miescke, Family Care Manager, Project 1.27 (CO)

Misty Martin, Adoptive and Foster Parent (CO)

PROGRAM INFORMATION & SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES

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Photo Credit to Erica Baker Photography

 KINSHIP CAREGIVER RECRUITMENT AND SUPPORT – A Second Chance, Inc.

A Second Chance’s mission is to provide a safe, secure, and nurturing environment to children who are being cared for by their relatives or a close family friend – formally called “kinship care”. ASCI became a subcontracting agency of Allegheny County Children, Youth and Families in July, 1994. Through this partnership, 62% of children who enter care in PA are now served in kinship placements, significantly higher than the national average of 29%.

Read the Chronicle of Social Change’s article on Allegheny County’s successful kinship recruitment efforts here.

 Dr. Sharon McDaniel, MPA, Ed. D.

 Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer, A Second Chance, Inc.

In 1994, Sharon McDaniel launched A Second Chance, Inc. in her native Pittsburgh, PA., ushering in a then little-known model for providing safe, secure, and nurturing environments for children who are being cared for by their relatives or close family friends. That innovative approach is known as “kinship care.” Today, Dr. McDaniel, herself an alumna from foster care and a recipient of kinship care, serves more than 1,000 children and 800 families a day through A Second Chance Inc., a thriving non-profit, which also has a regional office in Philadelphia.

Eugina Saunders

Pennsylvania, Kinship Caregiver

Eugina Saunders is a 36- year-old mother of 6 children and grandmother of 2 grandchildren.  She had 2 biological children and 4 children that she is adopting. She came to be involved with A second chance as a kinship caregiver having to assume custody of her grandson. She expresses that had it not been for the support of A Second Chance, Inc., chance she’s not sure how she would have made it through that devastating time of her life.  She was given not only monetary support, she was also given the opportunity to sit in on different support groups to be around her peers and people going through the same things that she was dealing with. After getting back on her feet, Eugina felt the desire to give back so she remand on the list for respite caregivers with her focus being teens. Eugina has not only increased her family size but was also given the opportunity to love, support and guide four teenagers who would have been split a part or even worse, aged out of foster care with no permanent or family connections.

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Photo Credit to Erica Baker Photography

 Azzer   

Pennsylvania, Youth in Kin Care

Azzer is an honor roll high school student from Pittsburgh, PA and will be attending Drexel for dance and musical therapy. He is a founding member of the Kinship Youth Advisory Board of A Second Chance, Inc., and an avid dancer with 6 grand prizes for his performances in the past year. Azzer was adopted as a young child by his mother, Wilma, who passed away about 7 years ago. The biological daughter of Wilma assumed care of Azzer and his siblings, which marked the steep decline in the quality of their care. He and his siblings were subjected to physical and emotional abuse for years. During that time Azzer got into a lot of fights, had no access to educational and recreational programs, and mired due to a lack of structure. Someone in their extended family called Children, Youth and Families out of concern. Around the same time, his siblings joined Camp COPES, a summer basketball program hosted by A Second Chance, Inc., where they met Ms. Eugina Saunders. Once they understood that they had options, they began to think of who they would like to live with and who would care for 4 teenagers. They were relieved that Ms. Eugina wanted provide care and that all 4 of them were welcome to join her family.

 Mr. and Mrs. McBride

Pennsylvania, Kinship Caregivers

Mr. and Mrs. McBride have been kin caregivers for over 22 years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania through A Second Chance, Inc. They came in to kinship care when Mrs. McBride met a young woman in a group home while she was a social worker at Three Rivers Youth. They built a relationship with this young woman, and helped her with housing for her and her 3 children. Mrs. McBride called Children, Youth and Families out of concern when the mother of the children was struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. The children were temporarily placed with the McBrides (informal kin care) until they were referred to A Second Chance, Inc. and licensed as formal kin caregivers. Currently, the McBrides are giving back to the children at A Second Chance, Inc., through the work they do with the community advisory board and grandparent support group.

FAITH-BASED CAREGIVER RECRUITMENT AND SUPPORT – Project 1.27

With a vision of “A Family Waiting for Every Child in Foster Care,” Project 1.27 strives to inspire, recruit and resource churches and families to foster and adopt the kids in their own backyard. The successes of the effort in Colorado – beginning with 875 children waiting for adoption, reduced over the past several years down to 265 – have inspired a network of “1.27s” in several states.

Read the Chronicle of Social Change’s article on successful faith-based recruitment efforts here.

Rhonda Miescke, MSW

Family Care Manager, Project 1.27

Rhonda started working in Ongoing Child Protection at Arapahoe County, CO in 1978 and alternated between Ongoing Child Protection, Therapeutic Foster Care, and Child Abuse Investigations for the first 11 years.  She went to graduate school while working in Child Abuse Investigations in 1987-1988 and graduated with her Master’s in Social Work in May 1988.  In 1988, Rhonda was promoted to Foster Care Supervisor until leaving Arapahoe County in 2007.  Over 400 children were adopted during her tenure as the Adoption Supervisor in Arapahoe County. Rhonda came to work at Project 1.27 as the Training Team Manager, later as a Case Manager, and now as the Family Care Manager.  Given her experience working in the child welfare system for nearly 29 years, she now utilizes experience and my faith to prepare and serve foster and adoptive families well. Rhonda has opened her home to her sister and her 3 youngest daughters, and her brother and his son.  She has the opportunity to practice every day what she teaches parents about how to parent children who have experienced trauma, as all of the children in her home have experienced significant trauma in their lives.

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Photo Credit to Erica Baker Photography

 Misti Martin

Colorado, Foster and Adoptive Parent

Misti and Jon Martin are foster and adoptive parents from Colorado. They have a total of 9 children; four biological children ages 15-21, and 5 children adopted through foster care, ages 22 months-10 years old. Olivia, their adopted 7-year-old daughter, has significant medical needs, and a terminal heart condition. Currently, they are foster parents to a medically fragile 11-month-old baby girl. When they first started their training through Project 1.27, it was their intention to adopt one child, possibly two, if in a sibling group. They never imagined being parents to so many children, especially children with severe medical needs. The Martins believe that every child, no matter the diagnosis, disability, or prognosis has immeasurable value and deserves to know love and be loved. Every child, if given the opportunity, they will thrive in a stable, nurturing, and loving environment. Because of this, the Martins consider it a privilege to open their hearts and their home as a licensed medical foster home.

CCAI Announces Its New Website

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CCAI Announces Its New Website

CCAI’S NEW WEBSITE MAKES FINDING THE BEST ADOPTION AND FOSTER CARE POLICY RESOURCES EASY

CCAI is excited to announce the launch of our brand new, user friendly website with more adoption and foster care resources, improved navigation and easy access to information about our programs and ways you can engage with us in adoption advocacy!

 What You’ll Find

To serve our various audiences better, we’ve divided the website into two distinct sites, the Main Site and the For Members of Congress site. When you visit the Main Site, you’ll find detailed information about CCAI, our five core programs and a comprehensive list of adoption and foster care related policy resources. The For Members of Congress site can be accessed by clicking the icon in the top right hand corner and is specially designed for congressional Members and staff to easily access to the most pertinent adoption and foster care information.

Additionally, the new website has been enhanced for use on mobile devices, so you will have access to CCAI’s programs and resources on the go.

Spread the Word!

Please help CCAI spread the word about the new website and our mission to eliminate obstacles preventing children from finding a safe, permanent and loving family! Forward this blog to a friend or family member so they can visit the website and connect with us. They can sign up to receive updates and news from us and follow us on other social media – all from the new site.

 Tell Us What You Think

Please take a moment to explore everything our new website has to offer and give us your feedback. We want to hear about your experience and any ideas or suggestions you might have. You can take our BRIEF NEW WEBSITE VISITOR SURVEY or email CCAI’s Senior Director of Programs, Allison Coble at allison@ccainstitute.org.

We appreciate your support and hope you enjoy the new CCAI website!

Bill & Jen of TLC’s The Little Couple have a Special National Adoption Day Message for You

National Adoption Day is officially here! The dreams of thousands of children and families will come true today, at National Adoption Day celebrations in courthouses all across the nation where judges finalize more than 4,500 adoptions of children from foster care.

We are thrilled to announce that CCAI’s 2014 National Angels in Adoption™ honorees, Bill Klein and Dr. Jen Arnold of TLC’s The Little Couple, created a special National Adoption Day message to help celebrate this special day. Bill and Jen are adoptive parents and cannot imagine life without their precious children, Will and Zoey.

Will you help us raise awareness about these 4,500 adoptions as well as the almost 108,000 children and youth in foster care still waiting for a loving family to call their own? Share Bill and Jen’s video today to show your support of National Adoption Day on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram or by forwarding this email. Be sure to use with the following hashtags: #natadoptionday#nationaladoptionday, and #CCAIadoption.

As our friend and supporter, we want to celebrate this day with you too! Follow CCAI on FacebookInstagram and Twitter and be sure to tag us as you share the video! Together, we can be the difference for so many children seeking their forever families.