Featured Essential Ingredient: Reason to BeReason to Be creates a sense of purpose or direction for children by ensuring they are connected to family, community and culture. Maintaining a relationship to culture is important for all children as they navigate the world, and is especially important for children of color raised by white parents.
Learning about Black hair, Black heroes, Black music and Black culture as a whole is key to raising a confident Black child who can succeed in face of institutional racism and systemic adversity. Black lives matter today and everyday.
March is Women’s History Month, so let’s continue to embrace diversity together beyond February. Did you know many ethnic groups have a month dedicated to their heritage? November is Native American Heritage Month and May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
See a full list of Commemorative Observances to help prioritize cultural diversity all year long.
More Fun and Educational Equity Resources
- A SaintA-curated book and resource list
- MPL page with featured virtual events and booklist
- A Milwaukee-focused, film festival featuring Black filmmakers and diversity on screen (but, it’s not free)
- A list of Black History month virtual events and equity-focused activities in Milwaukee
- CNN-featured stories about lesser-known African Americans who deserve to be recognized
- There will be a free YouTube special called “Black Renaissance” featuring Barack and Michelle Obama on February 26.
Foster Parents Rock!
Lynae Poulson and her sister Katelyn grew up in Brazil with a very open, warm and welcoming culture around children. After moving to the United States for college, they missed the frequent, open relationship with little ones and their families. Because they were single college students, the sisters didn’t think they’d be eligible for fostering.
By Misty Knuteson
Then one day while driving, Lynae saw a billboard stating “anyone” could be a foster parent. She reached out to SaintA, and the sisters because foster parents in 2015.
Along with younger sister Alyssa who acts as an unlicensed caregiver, the Poulsons feel lucky to be able to work as a three-person team with equal roles and responsibilities. They also have a very supportive care community to help their family in their journey.
In the past six years, the sisters have fostered 10 children — four boys and six girls. They initially began with a plan to foster only, but when their third placement needed an adoptive resource, they embraced the chance to make her a permanent part of their family. Since then, they have adopted two more children and reunified five.
Even though the Poulsons’ favorite part of fostering is being part of a team that reunifies families, Lynae believes foster parents need to be committed to every child for the “long haul.” The sisters have found ways to continue to support the children they’ve cared for, and are proud to maintain good relationships with the biological parents.
Their best advice to incoming foster parents is to have no expectations. By being flexible, working as a team, maintaining a positive attitude, you can build a trusting and open relationship with every child’s family. Lynae and Katelyn agree that becoming foster parents has been very rewarding, and something they plan to do for years to come.
The latest round of SaintA Care Packages focuses on Caregiver Capacity and stress relief.
Expect goodies to help bring the family together for some fun, but also some items to help encourage some much-needed “YOU” time.
Be on the lookout, they’ll be on your doorstep in the next few weeks!
We Need You!If you missed the Call To Action support session that recently took place, and you have questions about HOW to help recruit more amazing foster parents to join our community, reach out to your Caregiver Coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can request all sorts of recruitment materials, such as yard signs, window clings or links to our Basics of Fostering modules to help spread the word to your friends/family/colleagues about the significant need for foster parents in Milwaukee County.
Questions About Training Hours?We often receive questions about the 20 hours of ongoing training required at each re-license. What events and activities count toward this goal?
To help you get a better understanding of this process, we’re happy to share this list of Frequently Asked Questions, Your Questions About Ongoing Training Hours Answered on our Grow Hope website.
This information is meant to be a tool to assist foster parents with having a better understanding of the process. For specific questions not covered here, please discuss in detail with your licensing worker.
Upcoming TrainingsThis spring, SaintA is pleased to be offering the following training courses for our Foster Parents:
Introduction to Court and the Legal Process
- Wednesday, March 17 (12:00 – 1:00pm)
- Tuesday, March 30 (6:30 – 7:30pm)
- Tuesday, April 20 (12:00 – 1:00pm)
- Tuesday, March 23 (12:00 – 1:00pm)
- Wednesday, April 7 (12:00 – 1:00pm)
- Monday, April 12 (6:30 – 7:30pm)
You can also find many Virtual Support Groups for all types of caregivers through Wisconsin Adoption & Permanency Support.
Foster Parent Support GroupsSaintA Foster Parent support sessions are still going strong and helping to supplement those hard-to-find training hours. Starting in March, however, we will be reducing the frequency of support sessions.
Don’t forget: you can always view the upcoming schedule, register and find previous recorded sessions and materials here.
Stories Like Yours
Ray McElrathbey, a freshman on a football scholarship at Clemson University, is faced with a tough decision when his 11-year-old brother needs his help. Their mom, a drug addict, has been incarcerated and has decided to enter rehabilitation.
Faced with a decision to care for his brother or see him go to a group home, Ray struggles to figure out what the best solution is–for him and his family.
What would your answer be? Disney’s Safety reminds us that families come in a lot of different packages, and often, it takes a village. Think about your village, and the village of the children you are caring for. How can you help your child stay connected to their village?
Watch the movie, streaming now on Disney Plus!
Black History Month
Inspired by the “Negro History Week” founded in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a Black Historian from Harvard, Black History Month was first celebrated nationally by President Gerald Ford in 1976.
This is a time to recognize the contributions Black people have made to society and understand how much they’ve shaped our culture — and the important role they play in progressing our future.
Women’s History Month
There are so many powerful women to celebrate during Women’s History Month. From local legends like Vel Phillips, to late heroes like Cicely Tyson and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Young, pioneering women, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Malala Yousafzai . From activists Yuri Kochiyama and Mary Brave Bird, to modern legends like Serena Williams. Not to mention, all the amazing foster, adoptive and biological moms and their daughters who are equally incredible!
Closed Group, Always OpenThe SaintA Foster Parents Facebook Group is the place to be to ask questions, get advice and discuss ups and downs with your fellow foster parents. This year, we hope to make the group more active than ever.
We’ll be sharing anniversaries, welcoming new foster parents and more. All currently-licensed Level 2 and TFC parents are welcome, so we hope to see you there.
Request to Join >>
CPR TRAINING REMINDER
All SaintA Foster Parents and Treatment Foster Parents are required to obtain and maintain CPR and First Aid Certification. As a Council on Accreditation (COA) accredited agency, these trainings are mandatory for foster parents, and you have 90 days post-licensure to complete your certification.
We have found The American Red Cross is the most effective and convenient way to complete your certification. They currently are offering both Classroom Only and and combination Online / In-Person options. Please be advised that the training must include Pediatric CPR.
These important trainings help enhance your skills as caregivers. Please continue in doing your very best to serve the children in your care. Upon completion, please submit your certification documentation and a receipt to your licensing specialist; we will reimburse you for the cost in its entirety.
*If you are already CPR and First Aid certified, please provide a copy of your current certification to your Licensing Specialist, if not done so already.
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 foster parents must list you as their referral source on their completed application.