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APRIL 2015 NEWSLETTER - ISSUE 132
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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
 

Attachments

Effective Parenting Flyer
Week of the Child Events at BADM
QPI April 7 Flyer
Protect Our Children Training Flyer
Children and Family Services Telephone List

 

President's Message
by Jason Burdge


The rest of 2015 is looking to be a great year for MFPA! We have several exciting events and projects being planned to give back to our community and to better support all foster caregivers in Marin. Here are some important events and dates for your calendar:

  • QPI meeting #4: April 7 – We will be finalizing our county brand statement and beginning our discussion on putting our goals into actions.
  • MFPA Board Meeting and community meeting: Saturday, April 25. 10:00 am to noon. Elections and a public forum.
  • Annual Meet & Greet: May, date to be announced. Awards for Foster Parent and Social Worker of the Year and social.
  • MFPA’s “Walk Me Home…to the place I belong” community walk event. May 30 at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. A fundraising walk-a-thon to support MFPA. All participants will receive free admission to the Museum. More details to come!
  • Annual Association Picnic. June, exact date will be announced soon.
  • Concert Fundraiser. September 20, Hopmonk Tavern in Novato. More details coming soon. Live band, food, raffle, and a silent auction.
  • 2015 Resource Fair. October. A full day of education, workshops, and a resource fair for all caregivers and the broader community.

Nominations are still being accepted for the Vice-President and Co-Secretary positions. Please consider running for office or volunteering to be on one of the committees. We have many amazing volunteers but we need more! Send your nominations to President@mfpa.net.

Thanks for your support and dedication to foster youth and children of Marin County.

Carol McKenna Awards
by Linda Gregory

Nominate the social worker that you see going above-and-beyond the call of duty for the 6th annual Carol McKenna awards. This honor is given annually to a social worker and to a foster parent who exemplify the commitment and caring spirit of the late Carol McKenna, a foster parent and everyday hero for foster children. Who is your everyday hero? Send a brief statement via email to executivedirector@mfpa.net or mail to MFPA (4280 Redwood Highway, Suite 1B, San Rafael, CA 94903) before April 22nd. Awards will be presented at the May Meet and Greet (date & details forthcoming).
Quality Parenting Initiative
by Cindy Wasserman

QPI Implementation Session 4: Action Plan, Tuesday, April 7, 9:30 AM to Noon
Thank you, everyone for helping us implement our QPI (Quality Parenting Initiative) project by participating in the introductory meetings or by supporting the process in other ways.  During the March meeting, we began creating a brand statement.  This statement was reflective of the brainstorming we did during the February meeting, when we identified the attributes of excellent foster parenting.  We will complete the brand statement at this meeting when we will also begin to create an action plan for moving forward. Please RSVP to Cindy Wasserman at
cwasserman@marincounty.org.
Welcome Back Nancy!
Nancy Gordon, our very first MFPA intern, has recently returned to Marin after living out of state for a few years. Please join us in welcoming Nancy back to the MFPA Community Resource Center as our office manager. 
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The next monthly training with Ryan Pickrell is on Monday, April 13th, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, at the Huckleberry Youth office in Montecito Plaza (Trader Joe's shopping center) in San Rafael. Download the flyer here and PLEASE RSVP FOR CHILDCARE BY EMAILING INFO@MFPA.NET!!  

Calendar

April 7: QPI - Action Plan, 9:30-12 PM, 3240 Kerner Blvd, Room 109/110, San Rafael, RSVP and reserve child care space TODAY by calling Cindy Wasserman at 415-473-5028 (see flyer in Attachments for more information)
April 13Effective Parenting, 6:30 - 8:30 PM, Huckleberry Youth Program office at Montecito Plaza, 361 Third Street, Suite G, San Rafael, light refreshments will be served (see flyer in Attachments Section for more information, PLEASE RSVP for childcare)
April 14: 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 
April 21: MarinKids Presentation on Health, Education and Family Poverty in Marin, 10-11:30 AM, Connections Center, 3240 Kerner Blvd, San Rafael, email Michelle@First5Marin.org for more information and to RSVP
April 21: Post-Adoption Parenting Group5:30-7:30 PM, Seneca Center, 3100 Kerner Blvd, San Rafael, dinner/childcare provided with RSVP (required) to 264-0939 or email Seneca
April 25: MFPA Board and Community Meeting - Elections and Public Forum, 10 am to Noon, 4280 Redwood Highway, Suite 1B, San Rafael. All MFPA members are invited to attend.
April 28: 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
April 29: Missing Children and Online Predators - Protecting Our Children from Online Predators and Other Dangers, 11:30-1:30 pm, Marin County Office of Education's Community Room, 1115 Las Gallinas, San Rafael, $10 registration fee, see flyer in Attachments for more information
May 5: Post-Adoptive Support Group5:30-7:30 PM, Seneca Center, 3100 Kerner Blvd, San Rafael, dinner/childcare provided with RSVP (required) to 264-0939 or
 email Seneca
May 30: Walk Me Home....to the place I belong, MFPA Fundraiser & Walk-a-Thon at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. More details to follow.

 

MFPA Board Nominations
by Jason Burdge

The board is reopening member nominations for the vice-president position and a second election will occur at the April 25 board meeting. This is a Saturday meeting from 10 AM to noon at the CRC (4280 Redwood Highway, Suite 1B, San Rafael) where childcare will be provided. Nominations for the vice-president position will remain open until elections at this board meeting. Please send nominations to president@mfpa.net

The vice-president, as with the president, must be a licensed foster parent and member of MFPA in good standing. The primary responsibilities of this position are to actively participate on the executive committee, serve on an additional association committee, and fill in for the president when that position is absent. 

We are also searching for a co-secretary to join the board in a non-executive committee capacity. This position will assist the secretary position with taking and reporting meeting notes when needed.  If you are interested in learning more about becoming a board member, committee member, or the responsibilities of the vice-president or co-secretary positions please feel free to contact me directly or attend one of our upcoming board meetings at the CRC on March 26 from 9 to 11 AM, and April 25 from 10 AM to noon.
 

Bay Area Discovery Museum Tickets

To kick off the Week of the Child, the Bay Area Discovery Museum has donated 10 passes to the MFPA, to be used on Sunday, April 12. Please contact Nancy at info@mfpa.net if you and the children in your care would like to reserve a few of the tickets. Check out the flyer in Attachments for more information about the Week of the Child and all the events at BADM.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Bay

Doesn't every kid deserve to have a caring adult in their lives? Big Brothers Big Sisters mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring professionally supported, one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. You now ​have the opportunity to make a direct, positive impact on the most vulnerable children right here in the North Bay. It takes $3,300 to match a child with a Big Brother or a Big Sister and with approximately 160 children on their waitlist, your support is more important than ever before. Bowl for Kids’ Sake is Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS)​ of the North Bay’s signature fundraising campaign.  Are you ready to fundraise for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Bay and have â€‹some ​fun at the same time?
 
This is how it works:
  • Visit www.bbbsnorthbay.org/bfks2015 and create a team or sign up as an individual fundraiser.
  • After you sign up, you will get your own fundraising online headquarters where you can engage your friends, family and colleagues to help you reach your fundraising goal. You can also download a BFKS app on your phone or tablet after you sign up on our website. It makes it really easy to manage your fundraising efforts.
  • As a thank you, Big Brothers Big Sisters will throw you and your teammates a bowling party at Country Club Bowl on April 26 from 10am-2pm in San Rafael. This year’s theme is 1950’s style Sock Hop – so come dressed up. Of course, you can still fundraise for Big Brothers Big Sisters even if you can't make it to the event.
Bowl for Kids’ Sake is an easy way to positively impact a child's life!

If you have any questions, please contact Kristine Meeks at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Bay, 
kmeeks@bbbsnorthbay.org.
Respite Care Roster
by Barbara Sabido

Thank you to Cindy Wasserman for once again publishing the Respite Care Roster. As summer approaches and vacation plans are made, the roster will prove to be invaluable to foster care families who need to find trained, reliable folks to care for their foster children. One such provider asked that MFPA reiterate their desire to be those trained, reliable folks we all need. Read on:

Newly licensed foster family Laura and Chris Gandy would love to 
provide respite care!  They are outdoor enthusiasts and love hiking, backpacking, kayaking and scuba diving.  The Gandys wish to begin by providing respite to children and youth ages five to 18.  After gaining some experience in this role, they plan to foster boys and girls ages five to 12 or so.  They are currently licensed for one and are enthused to offer respite during the evenings, over the weekends and possibly overnight during the week.  If you are in need of a break, please consider calling them; their contact information was included in the revised respite roster.  Laura speaks semi-proficient Spanish, so bilingual Spanish-speaking children will be an especially good fit for this responsible and caring family.
Spring Break Sewing Class

On April 13, 14 and 15 from 10 AM to noon, sewing teacher Gwen Dunham will be teaching her sewing class at the MFPA Community Resource Center, 4280 Redwood Highway, Suite 1B, San Rafael. Kids will learn a few versatile hand stitches and how to sew on buttons and patches. They are invited to bring stuffed animals or garments that need repair.  Gwen will talk about where fibers come from, how cloth is made and fashion history. Best ages are 7-12. Class is free to children whose parents/caregivers are MFPA members.
Reservations are necessary. Contact teacher Gwen_Dunham@yahoo.com.  We are excited to have you join in the fun.
Welcome New Foster Mom!
by Cindy Wasserman

CFS warmly welcomes Puni Elston, who recently became a licensed foster
parent!  An experienced parent (her son is 20 years old), Puni looks
forward to fostering teenage girls.  She will also welcome non-minor
dependants, and she is interested in fost-adoption if the need arises.  A
resident of San Rafael, Puni works part-time as a yoga and pilates
instructor.  An avid reader and animal lover (she has a big, friendly
dog), Puni enjoys helping other people.  She greatly values education and
may be described as  goal-oriented, analytical, smart and fun.  CFS is
pleased that Puni is joining our community and looks forward to the unique
contributions she will undoubtedly provide.
Opportunities

Foster Care Education Law Fact Sheets - This is a lengthy document, but packed with important information about California Foster Care Education law. Download it here.


Training Resources - Check out the trainings being offered by the following agencies: 
MAILING ADDRESS
4280 REDWOOD HIGHWAY, SUITE 1B
SAN RAFAEL, CA 94903
415-507-0557

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