How did you celebrate summer in the next normal? Wisconsin summers are supposed to be filled with fairs, festivals, and parades. While this summer may not have been what we were expecting, we hope you all could make the best out of it.
Over on our Foster Parents Facebook group, we tried to recreate the summer spirit through SaintA Celebrates. We gave out some koozies for Pride Month, shared recipes for the Strawberry Festival and learned about Hodag Fest (pictured above), an annual northern Wisconsin celebration.
The SaintA Foster Parents Facebook Group is the place to be if you want to participate in fun and interactive events like this. It’s also a community of your fellow foster parents where you can ask questions, get advice and discuss ups and downs. All currently-licensed Level 2 and TFC parents are welcome!
Request to Join >>
Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and stay tuned to learn how to turn being a loyal follower into a lucky prize winner!
Since we aren’t able to get together in person this summer to celebrate you and the work you do, we’ve assembled some special care packages as a way of showing our appreciation.
If you haven’t received yours yet, they’re on their way. Stay safe, stay healthy, and enjoy your goodies!
Big thank you to our friends from Chosen and the Elk’s Lodge for donating school supplies for our caregivers and kiddos. We know this back to school season is stressful, and we hope these backpacks helped a bit with your process.
Here are some homeschooling tips, tips on virtual learning and a discussion on compassion fatigue for caregivers.
We hope these resources can help make navigating this strange back to school season a little easier.
Every Friday, we host a virtual support group where experts join us to discuss topics important to you. From homeschooling, to time management to regulation, we got you covered. If you tune in live, the sessions count for training credit, but if you can’t make it, view previous support groups and read recap stories here. We hope to see you at an upcoming session!
Foster Parents Rock!
Ms. Nitz has a special place in her heart for the little ones. As an early childhood special education support teacher, she has the skills to give babies the love and support they need. She has had 5 placements in the last four years, all aged 0-3. Her current placement is a medically needy premature baby. She learned how to care for him by spending a day a week driving back and forth to Madison to visit the baby.
Ms. Nitz has a history of maintaining relationships between bio families and foster children. Although she fosters younger children, she believes that face-to-face family visits are important so that children are aware of who their family is. One of her favorite memories was seeing a relationship grow between her first placement and his father. Along the way, Ms. Nitz also made a friend of her own in bio dad. The kiddo was reunified, but she continued to receive invites to family events, phone calls about milestones and is forever known as “Auntie Cheryl.”
“It is important that a child has a relationship with their parents,” Ms. Nitz says. She believes that when children see her connecting with their parents, they will be inclined to have connection as well. She also believes that parents should be able to celebrate their child’s milestones and should know who is taking care of their child. To her, it is incredibly rewarding to be able to build relationships with bio parents and to stay connected with a child that she fostered. She wants to remind new foster parents to not be afraid, take on challenges and step out of your comfort zone.
Stories Like Yours: Closure
Summary by Tiffany Myrick
“Adopted at the age of one by her Caucasian parents, Angela, (now an adult) along with the help of her husband, document her journey to finding her birth family. All of Angela’s feelings, emotions and fears are felt throughout her two-year search, which leads to her being reunited with both sides of her biological family, some of which didn’t know she existed.
Although it may be hard to accept as the adoptive parents, it is important to understand that birth parents are a part of what makes a child who they are. For children who have been adopted, especially transracially, being supportive of them wanting to know and/or have a relationship with their birth families, like Angela, goes a long way.”
Learn more: http://closuredocumentary.com/
Cathy’s Collection is a grassroots-style boutique of new, donated items for kids and youth in foster care. We don’t accept clothes, but we are always in need of diapers, formula and other baby items. We also need toys and gifts for teens. If you’d like to make a donation, please email GrowHope@SaintA.org or visit our Amazon Wishlist. Learn more about Cathy’s Collection here.
Cathy’s husband, Charles Miller continues to raise their 6 adopted children. His heart is as big and loving as Cathy’s, and although times can get tough, he is trying his hardest to be the best dad possible for his kids. Learn more about his story on Positively Milwaukee.
Cathy’s Collection is always in need of diapers, formula and other baby items, as well as toys and gifts for all ages of children and teens. If you’d like to donate to Cathy’s Collection, please visit our brand-new Amazon Wishlist, or contact us at GrowHope@SaintA.org
SaintA Travels: The Toregersens
While the number of kids in care has continued to increase, the number of homes in Wisconsin has stalled. We are on the road to change that with our ongoing series, SaintA Travels.
Meet Eric and Tracy Torgersen. These foster parents have only been licensed for a little more than a year, but they’re already doing a stellar job. Learn about their journey on our YouTube Channel.
August – Black Business Month
For the rest of August, we can all try our best to support Black businesses. One of our favorites is Funky Fresh Spring Rolls, or anything else in the Sherman Phoenix. You can also visit MKE Black, for shops, restaurants and services from Black entrepreneurs in the Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha areas. If you’re near Madison, this list has the Black entrepreneurs you should support.
September – Hispanic Heritage Month
Hispanic Heritage Month begins Sept. 15 and ends Oct. 15. It’s a time to celebrate the amazing contributions Latinos have made to American culture. Try watching One Day at a Time or Gotta Kick it Up with the kiddos. Teens should check out The Fosters, which also talks about foster care and adoption. If you’re confused about the terms Hispanic and Latino, this article clarifies. In short, Hispanic typically refers to language (Spanish-speaking) and Latino refers to geography (Latin America)
Refer a Family
DID YOU KNOW? There are incentives for referring qualified family and friends to become foster parents? There are three milestones when you make a referral*, outlined below, with corresponding gifts.
- Application received earns you an item of SaintA merch
- Approved license results in a $100 gift card of your choice from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
- First placement earns you $250 from SaintA
New foster parents are always welcome to the SaintA foster care team and we want to reward you for your hard work identifying good parents for kids who come from challenging places.
* The new foster parents must list you as their referral source on their completed application.