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MAY 2015 NEWSLETTER - ISSUE 133
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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
Meet and Greet Flyer
Picnic Flyer
Children and Family Services Telephone List

 

President's Message
by Jason Burdge


May is National Foster Care Month and the National Foster Parent Association extends a big THANK YOU to all caregivers caring for our foster youth! MFPA is working hard to improve the services our county’s foster caregivers receive so they can better help their families.

On Tuesday, May 26th, Children and Family Services, COM's Foster and Kinship Care Education Program, and the MFPA board invites everyone to attend the annual Foster Parent/Social Worker Meet & Greet! We'll gather at the Connection Center, 3240 Kerner Blvd, Room 109/110, from 4-5:30 pm. Finger food and beverages will be served, children are welcome, and the winners of our 6th Annual Carol McKenna award will be honored. See flyer in Attachments section.

On May 30 we will be conducting our first community walk to raise awareness about foster care. Walk Me Home....to the place I belong is the signature fund-raising and awareness event for foster care in America. Please join us - kids and youth walk for free! The walk will start and end at the Bay Area Discovery Museum and all attendees receive free entry that morning. Click here for more information and to register.
You can show your support for National Foster Care Month and MFPA by choosing one or more of the following:

  • Make a donation today to MFPA online
  • Register to walk on May 30 and raise funds – Raise $50 and your registration is free!
  • Support a walker already registered!

We can’t do what we do without you!
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It is a great pleasure to announce that Barbara Sabido has become our new part-time paid Director to manage MFPA! You can contact her directly at executivedirector@mfpa.net. Linda Gregory has done a fabulous job as our interim-Director and will continue to volunteer for our association. We are very fortunate to have the assistance of both of these fabulous foster parents and individuals!

Thanks for being a part of our community and for your support.

Patty Cala Wants Your Opinions!
by Patty Cala

Happy Spring!

As many of you know I coordinate the Foster and Kinship Care Education through College of Marin.  This program offers both pre-service and in- service trainings for caregivers and supporters of our Marin County foster youth.
As I was looking over the trainings we offered this past year, I noticed how low the attendance has been.  We try to offer classes that appeal to a wide range of caregivers, but maybe there are other reasons so few of you choose to come to our trainings.

I am inviting all of you to contact me and share what I can do in the coming year to make our trainings a better fit your needs.  Feel free to let me know topics you would like to see next year as well as days and times that work best for you and your family.  I will do my best to put together a training schedule that takes your needs into account. 
You can reach me at pcala@marin.edu  I hope you hear from you; your opinions matter to me!!


 
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The next monthly training with Ryan Pickrell is on Monday, May 11th, 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

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 11Effective Parenting, What We Need to Know About Caring for LGBTQ Youth in Our Homes, 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)
May 12Kinship 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 18: QPI, Next Steps, 3-5 PM, 3240 Kerner Blvd, Rooms 109/110, San Rafael. RSVP for childcare 
May 19Post-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
May 26: Annual Foster Parent/Social Worker Meet & Greet, 4-5:30 pm, 
3240 Kerner Blvd, Rooms 109/110, San Rafael (see flyer in Attachments)
May 26Pre/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 30: Walk Me Home....to the Place I Belong, MFPA Fundraiser & Walk-a-Thon at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. Register to walk and fundraise for MFPA by clicking here


 

MFPA Annual Picnic!
by Barbara Sabido

Summer is almost here, and so is the annual MFPA Picnic! Once again our picnic chair Susan Nasca, with help from Donna Bailey and members of the MFPA board and community, has lined up an incredible array of food and fun for foster parents, foster children, social workers and special friends! Plan on joining the festivities Saturday, June 20th, 12:30 - 3 pm, at the McInnis Park Hillside Picnic area in San Rafael. Download the flyer here, post it on your refrigerator, add it to your calendar, and help us welcome Summer!

Quality Parenting Initiative
by Cindy Wasserman

Please join us for a final introductory QPI (Quality Parenting Initiative) meeting on Monday, May 18, 3:00 to 5:00, rooms 109 and 110, 3240 Kerner Blvd., in San Rafael.  Anyone who is new to QPI, or who thinks they might benefit from a quick refresher/overview is encouraged to attend the QPI 101 offered 2:00-3:00 at the same location.
 
If people are confused about the next steps, this is the meeting to attend.
 
The goal of the meeting will be to take our brand statement and evaluate what type of local policy or practice changes are necessary to make it a reality in Marin.  This is the time to revisit concerns and problem areas.  By the end of the meeting, we should have 3-5 action items, or areas in which we want to create specific improvement.  Participants can also sign up for work groups at this time (examples of work groups may be support and mentoring, recruitment, transitioning children in care, etc.)
 
Jennifer Rodriguez, Youth Law Center’s Executive Director, will facilitate this pivotal meeting.
 
Refreshments and child care provided (be sure to reserve space with Cindy).

 
Please RSVP by emailing Cindy Wasserman: cwasserman@marincounty.org or by calling her at 415‑473‑5028.
Removed
by Alexandra Jacobs, TLC Child and Family Services

Sometimes we lose sight of where the children in our care come from.  They have had a lifetime of experiences and carry with them a huge store of memories, both conscious and unconscious.  We see the child in front of us, their sweet voices, small hands, beautiful hair, sad eyes, crooked teeth, mispronounced words, amazing insights, crazy behavior, high energy, funny jokes, food preferences – all the things that make us laugh and cry and feel tenderness and frustration at different times, and the things that endear them to us.

But we don’t see what they have seen.  A smell or a comment or an object can trigger all kinds of memories for anyone, happy or sad, and individuals react in a myriad of ways – as anyone who has cared for traumatized children can confirm.

The film “Removed” is a short (12 minutes) glimpse into the life of a girl who was removed from her home and placed in foster care.  This glimpse is an intense and moving portrayal from the child’s point of view.  The film does an amazing job of showing the emotion and the fear and the terror that must grip a child who has experienced such chaos.

Available on YouTube at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOeQUwdAjE0,  this film will make you think differently about the way a child you know might have reacted to something you said or a kindness you gave them.  Be warned though:  this is not a video to watch with children in the room, and you will want to have some tissues handy.  Pick a time when you will have space to reflect, because it is intense.  And you might find it useful for helping friends and extended family understand where the foster child in your life might have come from.
Welcome New Foster Mom!
by Cindy Wasserman
 
CFS would like to welcome our newly licensed foster parent, Libby Kelly!  As a
parent (she has three grown children) and step parent, Libby has honed her skills
and possesses the knowledge, patience and supportive nature to provide excellent
foster care.  She will welcome teenage girls and boys, as well as non-minor
dependants; she will also care for younger siblings.  A resident of the Hamilton
area of Novato, Libby has a capacity of six.  Libby is a legal assistant who works
part-time.  Family is what she values most in life and for fun she enjoys camping,
hiking, backpacking and spending time with friends.  She is organized, calm,
responsive and responsible.  CFS is pleased she is joining our community and looks
forward to the care she will 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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