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The mission of the Marin Foster Parent Association (MFPA) is to achieve consistent, safe, quality care for the well being of all foster children by providing support services and advocacy to Foster and Adoptive Families, Relative and Non-relative caregivers.

In This Issue


How to Talk About Adoption Flyer
Eliana Gil Training Flyer
MFPA Annual Picnic Flyer

Marin Youth Ecology Corps Flyer
Children and Family Services Contact List
Children and Family Services Organizational Chart


Vice-President's Piece
by Annette Venables

Caring is Better When We All Share
The renaming of the Community Center and our expanded partnership with TLC Children & Family Services are outward symbols of the thinking that is driving your MFPA Board. Our goal is to build a stronger, more diverse, more effective community to better support kinship, foster and fost-adopt caregivers.
One way we are building community is by offering lots of opportunities for families to be together.
A few weekends ago, a group of families enjoyed the beautiful spring weather at the Bay Area Discovery Museum, a free event that sent everyone home with a sack of bagels. It was great for the children to play together and the adults to swap stories. Personally, I left feeling so happy about being a part of this group. This is exactly what we should do—just be there for each other.
If you missed that event, no worries, there are more on the way:
Don’t miss the annual picnic (see flyer in Attachments) at McInnis Park on Friday, June 13. In addition to the tasty BBQ, face painting and games galore, this year we will also present the Carol McKenna award to the foster parent(s) and social worker of the year at this event.  If you haven't submitted your nomination for the social worker whose work merits this award, please do so by Friday, May 9 to  
And in the Fall:  an updated, family-friendly version of Champagne & Chocolate for back-to-school (date TBD) and then on Saturday, October 25 at the Albert J. Boro Community Center at Pickleweed Park, a family-friendly resource fair in partnership with Marin Advocates for Children.
There is no community without you. So if you haven’t joined or renewed your MFPA membership yet this year—please do it now via our websiteCome to our events, stop in the Community Center, participate in a Board meeting, or volunteer an hour or two to help make an event happen—join us any way you feel comfortable. We are better together!
Thoughts or ideas about building a stronger community? Contact me at I’d love to take you to coffee.

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May 9: Nominations due for the annual Carol McKenna Awards, foster parents should submit name and short summary of social worker's "above and beyond" attitude and work to
May 13: Kinship Support Group, 5:30-7:30 PM, Seneca Center, 3100 Kerner Blvd, San Rafael, dinner/childcare provided with RSVP (required) to 264-0939 or email Seneca 
May 15:  How to Talk About Adoption, 7 to 9 PM, MFPA Community Center, 4280 Redwood Highway, Suite 1B, San Rafael, presented by Denise Miney of TLC Child and Family Services, RSVP required 707-477-1200 or email Denise. See flyer in Attachments (no childcare provided)
May 21: Surviving Compassion Fatigue; Help for the Helper, 11 AM to 1 PM, location TBD, presented by Beverly Kyer, RSVP required to 
Robyn Roberts
May 22: Assessment and Treatment of Sexual Behavior Problems in Children, 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM, Novato, presented by Dr. Eliana Gil, follow this link for more information and to register ($85), see flyer in Attachments.
May 20: Post-Adoption Parenting Group, 
5:30-7:30 PM, Seneca Center, 3100 Kerner Blvd, San Rafael, dinner/childcare provided with RSVP (required) to 264-0939 or email Seneca 
May 27: Pre/Newly Adopted Support Group, 5:30-7:30 PM, Seneca Center, 3100 Kerner Blvd, San Rafael, dinner/childcare provided with RSVP (required) to 264-0939 or email Seneca
May 28: Webinar - Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect, 12:30 to 2 PM, follow this link for more information and to register (free)

May 29:  MFPA Board Meeting, 6:30-8:30 PM, MFPA Community Center, 4280 Redwood Highway, Suite 1B, San Rafael, all MFPA Members welcome!!
June 13: MFPA Annual Picnic, 12:30-3:00 PM - McInnis Park, San Rafael (see flyer in Attachments for details)

Senior Project Helps Foster Youth
by Cindy Davila

My name is Cindy Davila and I am a senior at Novato High School.     

As part of my senior project I am working with MFPA to expand the range of apparel available to teenagers through their Community Center. This would allow foster teens like me to access these items free of charge and help us feel a little bit more normal.   

We are seeking donations of new, or good as new, items of clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories as well as gift cards to clothing stores, beauty supply stores and retailers like Ulta and Sephora.

Donations can be dropped off at the MFPA Community Center (4280 Redwood Highway, Suite 1B, San Rafael) during their regular hours of operation (Tues. 2-5, Thurs. 11-2, Sat. 10-2) or we can coordinate to pick up your donation by emailing Ildi at:  Thank you for making my project a success for teens!

Girl Scouts Step Up!
by Barbara Sabido

Junior Girl Scout Troop #32571 brought their best smiles and best work to the MFPA Community Center recently, and the picture above illustrates both!

Over the course of one year, the girls made 30 no-sew fleece blankets and donated them to the Community Center, where they will be taken home by Marin foster kids.  They also collected items of toiletries, clothing, diapers, and monetary donations.

"The snuggly warmth and comfort of a blanket is what every child needs," said troop member Olivia Hoover.  

The work earned the troop the coveted Bronze Award, the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can earn.  Well done!

Welcome New Foster Family
by Cindy Wasserman

Children and Family Services is pleased to welcome Paige Martin and Steve Huegli, our newest foster parents!  Licensed for one, Paige and Steve look forward to caring for boys or girls, ages 5 to ten or so.  A landscape architect and an architect, respectively, Paige and Steve enjoy hiking and running (preferably with their sweet dog, Pace) and otherwise engaging in the natural beauty that surrounds their Mill Valley home.  They are excited to share their lives with children in need and they have a great deal of sensitivity and stability to help boys and girls feel safe.   Steve and Paige are thoughtful, fun and organized.  No doubt they will be fabulous assets to this community.
Universal Precautions
by Kathleen Nishimura

Universal precautions are actions that you take to place a barrier between yourself and potentially infected body fluids.  Blood and other body fluids (i.e., semen, vaginal fluids, saliva, urine, feces, vomit) can contain viruses and bacteria that can be passed on to another person through direct contact. Hepatitis B & C and HIV are diseases that can be transferred from one person to another through contact with infected blood and/or body fluids. Since there is no way to know without testing if a person has hepatitis B or C or HIV, it is recommended that you treat all body fluids as though they were infected.

The last thing we want to do is alarm anyone, yet we also want you to be prudent and take care of yourselves – especially in situations where we may have no background information on a baby, younger child or teen coming into care. 
 How are blood and body fluids passed from one person to another?
  • Through open areas on the skin
  • By splashing in the eye
  • Through the mouth
  • Unprotected sexual activity (oral, anal and vaginal)
  • Injury with contaminated needles or other sharps
  • Prenatally (mother to baby) and during delivery
 How can I protect myself from blood and body fluids?
The easiest way to protect yourself from blood and body fluids is to have the injured person treat their own wound. If they are unable to take care of themselves, or they need some help, use latex gloves. If you do not have disposable gloves available, you can improvise and use a plastic bag (trash, shopping, or sandwich) over your hands to create a barrier.   It wouldn’t hurt to keep some disposable gloves in the glove compartment of your car and/or first aid kit, just in case.
How do I safely handle a bleeding injury?
  1. The child or adult should hold an absorbent material to the wound - a clean disposable diaper offers a good absorbent material with the added protection of a plastic backing.  You can also use paper towels, tissue, or newspaper.
  2. Have them hold pressure until the bleeding stops.
  3. Assist with placing a bandage over the wound if needed.
  4. Dispose of bloody material in a plastic-lined waste receptacle or sealed plastic bag.
  5. Everyone should wash his or her hands with soap & running water as soon as possible (hand sanitizers or towelettes may be used if soap and running water are not available).
How do I clean surfaces that have blood and body fluids on them?
  2. Wash the area with soap and water, and dry the area.
  3. Disinfect the surface with a solution of one part bleach to ten parts water, or you can use a hospital-strength disinfectant (i.e., Lysol, Cavicide, or NABC). Allow the area to remain wet for at least 3 minutes, before drying. Consult the container label for differences in recommendations due to product strength.
  4. Use disposable cleaning materials if possible, such as paper towels instead of cloth.
  5. Dispose of cleaning materials and gloves in a sealed plastic bag.
  6. Wash hands with soap and running water (hand sanitizer or towelettes may be used if soap and running water are not available).
This is information only and is not meant to be used for self -diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider.  
To obtain more information consult your physician, CFS Public Health Nurses Linda (473-3703) or Nita (473-7459), or go directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at

Summer Jobs - The Marin Employment Connection (MEC) is again partnering with Bay Area agencies for the Marin Youth Ecology Corps (MYEC), a program that will allow at-risk youths to earn money this summer through conservation work. Last summer's pilot program was deemed a success by Marin County's Health and Human Services Department, resulting in an increased program capacity!  Twenty-four at-risk Marin residents, between the ages of 16 and 25 will work at locations throughout Marin County. To learn more, see flyer in Attachments.  

Trainings - Check out the trainings being offered and plug them into your calendar!

May 15:  How to Talk About Adoption, 7 to 9 PM, presented by Denise Miney of TLC Child and Family Services, 4280 Redwood Highway, Suite 1B, San Rafael, RSVP required 707-477-1200 or email
Denise. See flyer in Attachments.

May 21: Surviving Compassion Fatigue, AKA Secondary/Vicarious Traumatization: Help for the Helper, 11 AM to 1 PM, presented by Beverly Kyer, RSVP required to
Robyn Roberts, contact Robyn for location.

May 22: Assessment and Treatment of Sexual Behavior Problems in Children: A Family-based Treatment Model, 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM, Novato, presented by Dr. Eliana Gil, follow this
link for more information and to register ($85)
, see flyer in Attachments.

May 28: Webinar - Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect - Understanding and Responding to Abuse and Neglect of Infants and Toddlers, follow this link for more information and to register (free). 

Find other training resources through the following agencies:  

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