Toll-free 855-GROW-HOPE

December 2020/ January 2021 Newsletter

Featured 7EI: Relationship
From the COVID19 pandemic to the difficult conversations about race and of course your personal lives that don’t stop despite the intensity of the past year, we know that 2020 has been long and challenging. 

At SaintA, our motto this year has been #BetterTogether. Relationships are key to mitigating trauma. Strong relationships help create resilience and shield a child from the effects of trauma. As adults, we also need others to lean on for help. We hope that we’ve been there to support you through the chaos, along with your friends, family and other foster parents. You made it through this year, and you can make it through anything.

Here’s to 2021! 🎉🎉


Foster Parent Rock
A blog from Tywonna Laney

Throughout my journey as a licensed foster parent, I have come to value a few key components for meeting the needs of all children. One would be effective communication when advocating for the needs of the children in your care. It is very important to work with the various professionals assigned to the team. Most importantly, if possible, it is helps to practice shared parenting with bio parents. When communication is consistent across the board, the children are not faced with more unnecessary traumatic experiences as time moves forward.

Then we have boundaries that need to be outlined with all parties involved. Boundaries are put in place to keep children safe. It can involve zero tolerance policies and setting expectations within the team. When working with the children, everyone on the team should have the same energy to make sure the child’s needs are met. You want to have healthy relationship with the team by working as team. The team will always consist of the agency, supervisor, Ongoing Case Manager, court system, bio parents and foster parents. 

The primary goal is to make things a smooth process that align with the best interest of all children. Lastly, advocating for services for the children in your care should be outlined based on the current needs of the child. Everyone is not cut out for this job or could potentially not be in it for all the right reason. As a caregiver, it is vital to know when, who and how to contact the team when services are needed for the children. It is important to know what questions to ask and resources are available when advocating for children. If things just don’t feel right, go the extra mile in standing on a soap box to get all questions answered.

I learned a lot during the required classes, previous experiences with other children in my care and continued educational opportunities as a foster parent. You must love children and be passionate about caring for them. You have to know going into this that there is no clear or set instruction on how to be a great foster parent; you will learn how to master this by trial and error along the way.  Most importantly, you will take on such a huge responsibility for one sole purpose, and that is to provide a stable home along with meeting the needs for the children in your care. 

Tywonna Laney
Foster Parent


Celebrating You

While Candy Connection was cancelled this year, we are so grateful for the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts for hosting HolidAs at the Wilson Center for our foster parents!

Our final care packages of the year also went out recently. Thank you to our Caregiver Coordinators for working so hard to bring the holiday spirit to you. We hope this care package, along with the others, brought a little cheer to you and your family. Until we can celebrate you all in person again, we can’t wait to keep surprising you with special gifts every few months. You deserve it!


SaintA Travels: The Bullions

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.

The Bullions already have a big family, with 4 biological children and horses, dogs and chickens on their hobby farm. Still, they have room in their heart and home for kiddos in need. SaintA is on the road to find more foster parents like them. #SaintATravels so kids don’t have to.


Learn about their journey on our YouTube Channel.


Cathy’s Collection

Cathy Miller spent twenty years of her life investing in children through foster care, adopting six beautiful children and housing more than 70. The spirit of her unconditional love lives on thanks to your donations to Cathy’s Collection.

By donating items from
our Amazon Wishlistranging from fun (toys, toys, toys) to practical (backpacks and notebooks) to necessary (diapers) — you can bring joy and comfort to a child in foster care.

Cathy’s husband Charles caries on her memory as he raises their family. You can now view their story online at TMJ4’s Positively Milwaukee.


Closed Group, Always Open

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. Stay tuned for more coming to the group in 2021. All currently-licensed Level 2 and TFC parents are welcome!


Request to Join >>

Foster Parent Support Groups

Every Friday, SaintA hosts a virtual support group where experts join us to discuss topics important to you. From homeschooling, to regulation, to time management, we’ve got you covered. If you tune in live, the sessions even count toward your required training credits!

View previous sessions and read recap stories at GrowHope.net.

We’ll see you for more support groups!


Well Badger Resource Directory 

Wellbadger.org features thousands of health programs and services that are available in Wisconsin. All information in the Well Badger directory has been vetted and verified.

  • Use the search bar to find services in your area OR click “Health Topics” to browse all available services. Click “Get Help Now” to connect with a Certified Resource Specialist.

  • You can also call Well Badger at 1-800-642-7837 to help locate resources in your area.

Upcoming Events

December
Happy Holidays!

We’re wishing you a safe and fun holiday season regardless of what you celebrate! The next few weeks can be times of happiness, love and family, but for many youths in care and biological families, the holiday season can bring unwanted stress and fear. Here are some great tips for celebrating the holidays with children in foster care.

January
Human Trafficking Awarness Month
Did you know sex trafficking cases have been reported in all 72 counties in Wisconsin? Sex trafficking can often be hidden in plain sight, with victims being from any gender, race, age or class. Our Specialized Treatment Foster Care program is designed to specifically help former victims of sex trafficking. Being in foster care can make a child at a higher risk for trafficking.
.
See Something, Say Something. One way you can help is by always being on the lookout. Here are some signs to pay attention to:

  1. Signs of abuse/restraint

  2. Does not have access to an ID (passport, Birth Certificate, or Social Security Card)

  3. Fearful of police

  4. Not allowed to speak for themselves

See a more complete list from TimeToSpeakUp.org


January 18 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights leader and American hero who fought so everyone could be treated equally. Here are some great books to read with the kids that explain MLK’s legacy in an age-appropriate way.


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.

  1. Application received earns you an item of SaintA merch
  2. Approved license results in a $100 gift card of your choice from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
  3. 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.