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The Biggest and Best Candy Cane Connection Yet

Candy Cane Connection 2019 was another spectacular success! Thank you to all who attended and volunteered. The annual event brings SaintA licensed foster parents, children and staff together to celebrate the holidays through family bonding and fun.

For the second year, biological parents were invited to join the holiday festivities. On December 14, 2019, families came together at Davians to enjoy breakfast, pictures with Santa, face painting, bracelet making and many other fun activities!

More than 50 volunteers, including SaintA staff, Kohls, and River Run employees helped make the event possible. DJ Tim Sledge brought the tunes and photographer Chris Duzynski captured the special moments. Thank you to everyone involved! 

Families Coming Together

This year, more than 320 guests joined the party. With biological parents and foster parents coming together, we got a look into the power and benefits of shared-parenting and stable relationships. 

Shared parenting is a goal for families at SaintA. It’s a trauma-informed approach to caring for children in foster care that focuses on making sure children are supported by all adults in their life and receive all the love and resources they need.

Read about this family, including Xavier and Jennifer, who excel at shared parenting.

We also saw the power of sibling bonds. After a little girl rolled matching numbers on a set of plush dice and won a prize, she dashed over to her sister to celebrate. When a boy was disinterested in making a bracelet of his own, all it took was his little sister asking him to give it a try for his mood to switch.

Families were able to take photos with Santa that were printed and framed on site. Multiple families took pictures with siblings in different homes so everyone could leave with a copy!

A Testament to 2019 and Looking Forward to 2020

This year we added a sensory room for disregulated kiddos. Our senses and ability to self-regulate impact how we interact with the world. Regulation can be even more difficult for a child who has a sensory processing disorder (SPD) related to learning difficulties, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or the autism spectrum, just to name a few.

In 2019, we saw an increase in relative and kinship caregivers. More and more relatives are stepping up to care for children who are removed from their parents. The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), which will go into effect in Wisconsin in 2021, will dedicate some of its funding for kinship navigator programs to help support relative caregivers.


It’s never an easy choice to remove a child from a home, but having access to loving relatives, seeing examples of shared parenting and maintaining sibling bonds are the types of connections that help children in foster care thrive.

Thank You For Your Ongoing Support

The need for foster parents continues to be great – and, as many of you can attest – the rewards continue to be greater. Thank you for your commitment to children, families and each other. You are one of our best referral sources!

Please share the following resources with family and friends who might make great foster parents or have them contact our Caregiver Coordinators directly at 855.GROW.HOPE or GrowHope@SaintA.org