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Category Archives: Foster Parents

A Father Figure for Young Men

Cornelius became a foster parent by accident.It all started when a friend dropped off her son and promised to return later. The friend, who struggled with mental health issues and substance abuse, never returned. It took about six months for Cornelius to accept she wasn’t coming back, and that realization also left him with a choice. The boy would either be removed … Continue

Siblings Belong Together

“Did we think we would get triplets on the first shot?” Jessica says, recalling how she felt when she got a call about three little boys who needed a home. “Well, no,” she continues with a laugh.Jessica admits that she and her husband were blindsided by the request to take in multiple kids, but they also saw it as an … Continue

Guided by Faith

When asked what inspired her to become a foster parent, Judy, a foster mom of 29 years, answers with a smile and points to the sky.Faith is a priority in Judy’s life. She’s the secretary at her church, attends Bible study regularly and says being a foster parent is a calling from God. “This is a ministry. It’s a blessing,” … Continue

Magical Moments at Candy Cane Connection

Photo courtesy of Chris DuynskiThank you to all who attended Candy Cane Connection in 2018! This annual event brings SaintA licensed foster parents, children and other family members together for festive winter fun and family bonding. This year, for the first time foster parents could invite their child’s biological families along to share in the activities. The result was a shining example of shared-parenting. … Continue

An Unexpected Journey

Two years ago, Jennifer and her husband Xavier decided to become foster parents.It was something Jennifer always wanted to do, and as a public health nurse, she was used to caring for others. Xavier was very open to the idea, so after a year of marriage, the couple decided to start the process.In all, they’ve seen eight children come through … Continue

Called to Care for Teenagers

Antoinette Roberson has fostered 38 children, and she doesn’t plan to stop helping kids anytime soon. She’s been a caregiver her entire life. As a private duty aide, former kindergarten teacher, and active volunteer in her church, it’s second nature for Antoinette to help those in need. “I have a passion for children and the elderly,” she says. “I pray … Continue

Treatment Foster Care Parent Named Chair of WFAPA

Kristy Barr has “worked in the trenches” before. That’s how she describes the early days of foster parenting, when she and her husband, Kris, where just getting started. That was 10 years ago.  Since then, the couple has had 10 foster children in their home, all at the treatment foster care (TFC) level. “There was a lot of learning by … Continue

Annual Celebration of Kids Adopted from Foster Care

On Friday, November 16, 2018, SaintA celebrated Milwaukee Adoption Day along with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services, Milwaukee County Children’s Court Judiciary, Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, and Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services. The event, held at the Vel R. Phillips Justice Center, was part of National Adoption Awareness Month. It celebrates the adoption of children from foster … Continue

Called to Co-Parenting (and More!)

On Saturday, May 5, from 9 a.m. – noon, SaintA will host its 3rd Annual Call to Action Day, a celebration of foster parents and a chance for families to recommit themselves to the calling. The event is held at the SaintA Franciscan Center at 3939 N. 88th Street, Milwaukee. At this annual kick-off to Foster Care Appreciation Month, there … Continue

From Mini-Me to Family Member: Child-Specific Licensing

When Crystal, now age 35, was in her 20s, she signed up to be a Big Sister through her local Big Brothers/Big Sisters (BBBS) chapter. She always knew she may be able to make a difference in a young life, but she had no idea how significant of a role she would play for one young woman in particular. Nine … Continue

A Boy and His Dads

On Friday, December 15, the family and friends of Chad Chilsen and Shawn McCloskey gathered at Children’s Court in Milwaukee. They were there to see the couple adopt Jackson, age 5, who had been their foster son for more than two years. But there was another reason to celebrate that day. Unbeknownst to virtually everyone, except Judge Christopher Foley, Chad … Continue

It Takes a Village: Sisters, Neighbors, Foster Moms

In a neighborhood on the northwest side of Milwaukee, there’s a small village of Edwards’ family members. For starters, there’s grandpa, the patriarch; auntie the mother of four adoptive children; and then there are sisters, Skeeter and Lesa, both licensed foster parents through SaintA. The Edwards’ family came to Milwaukee from Jamaica many years ago, but still have deep cultural … Continue

First Responders Respond to the Need

Vincenzo (Vinny) and Melanie Paolo have made careers out of running toward trauma, rather than away from it. He’s a Milwaukee Police Officer and she’s a former EMS crew member, turned medics trainer. Their inclination to help others is part of what made them so uniquely qualified for another important role in our community – being foster parents. When the … Continue

21 Years. 300 Kids. 1 Strong Lady.

Vivian Lee, a 21-year veteran of foster parenting retired in April of this year. “It took a lot of work, and lots of prayers and tears,” Vivian says of the experience. “But we knew these kids didn’t have anywhere else to go.” The “we” she refers to is she and her late husband, Melvin. He was her co-parent and a … Continue

Foster Parent Call to Action: Heard & Accepted

On Saturday, May 6, SaintA hosted its 2nd Annual Call to Action Day, a celebration of foster parents and a chance for families to recommit themselves to the calling. In attendance were foster families and children, along with friends and family interested in becoming foster parents. Guests of honor included Marjorie and Marshall Barlow, who recently retired as foster parents … Continue