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MARCH 2014 NEWSLETTER - ISSUE 121
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Welcome to the MFPA's online newsletter.  Thank you for supporting our efforts to be paperless! MFPA members may request a paper copy of this newsletter by emailing, calling or sending us a note via USPS mail. Our contact info is located at the bottom of the newsletter.
In This Issue
 

Attachments

Matrix Training Flyer
Attachment Parenting Flyer

Children and Family Services Contact List
Children and Family Services Organizational Chart

Babysitter, Respite and Alternative Caregiver Chart

President's Piece
by Jason Burdge
 

Last week I was fortunate to attend the National Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) conference. It was inspiring to learn about success with the program across the country and state. The core of this initiative is building a community approach to improving the relationships between - and perception of - all of us involved with caring for foster youth.

As stated by an attending social worker, “Together we are better!”

Another interesting concept that stayed with me is recognizing the difference between a team complying with a goal and a team committing to a goal. It is simply a measure of dedication.

We are fortunate to have so many members of our community who are committed to improving our ability to care for foster youth.  Positive change will not come unless we all strive to improve the system and work together as a united community.

In the coming months we have several new and exciting events planned to celebrate and enjoy our community. I hope you will join us at one or all of them!

If you haven’t done so already, please renew your membership. Your support matters and we can’t do what we do without you. Together we are better!

News from the MFPA Resource Center
by Linda Gregory

We are now downstairs in Suite 1B on the ground level at 4280 Redwood Highway, directly underneath our former location. New hours are Tuesday afternoons 2-5pm, Thursday mornings 11-2pm, and we continue our usual Saturday hours 10-2pm. MFPA and our new office mates from TLC will host an Open House on Saturday, March 29th 10-2pm. Come see the new Resource Center, have some snacks, 'shop' and visit with other families! 

 

Kudos to Benny DalPorto, Whitehill School student and avid sports enthusiast, who delivered gently used bats, softballs, lacrosse equipment, balls of every type, and much more this past Saturday for his Bar Mitzvah project. No sooner had he left when a foster family came in and were thrilled that Benny's donation drive saved them from spending $100 on equipment at a sporting goods store, which was going to be their next stop!  Another teen who loves to skateboard headed out with a helmet and a huge smile on her face! Come in and get your spring sporting gear, compliments of Benny! Thank you, Benny, for supporting foster youth in Marin by sharing your love of sports!

Noteworthy
by Annette Venables

The Canal Alliance and UCSF have recently expanded their therapeutic programs for young children. If you are caring for a child 0-5 yrs who has experienced trauma (yes, even infants), they may qualify for therapeutic support. The Canal Alliance is open to referrals from CFS, but you may also contact them directly at 454-2640. Additional materials describing the program are available at the Resource Center.

Coffee Talk

 

Please join members of the MFPA and Marin's Foster Parent Community on Tuesday, March 11 at 9 am at the Peet’s Coffee in the Greenbrae Shopping Center for fun conversation. Let’s enjoy a chance to catch up, share experiences, and appreciate one another.

 

See you there! Questions? Email Annette!

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Calendar

March 6: Matrix Parent Network and Resource Center presents a general overview of developmental delays and other information, 9 AM-12 PM, Marin Health & Wellness Campus, Connection Center, 3240 Kerner Blvd, Rooms 109 & 110, San Rafael,  registration is required, email Robyn Roberts or call 415-507-9016 (see flyer in Attachments for more information)
March 6: "Heart Matters: What to do With a Child's Feelings" by Gordon Neufeld, 7-9 PM, Unity of Marin, Novato, $20, register online here
March 7 & 8"Making Sense of Aggression & Defiance Issues in Children" by Gordon Neufeld, 9 AM - 4 PM, Unity of Marin, Novato, $289, register online here
March 11: 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 
March 18: 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 
March 19: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, 11AM-12:30PM, 30 North San Pedro Road, Downstairs Conference Room, presented by Kathy Page and MAC/CASA
March 22: "How to Access the Juvenile Court - A Legal Training for Foster Parents", 1-4 PM, San Rafael Corporate Center, Tamalpais Room, 750 Lindaro Street, San Rafael, $25, registration required, register online here OR email AdvoKids for details.
March 25: 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
March 29: Resource Center Open House, 10AM-2PM, 4280 Redwood Highway, Suite 1B, San Rafael
April 12Attachment Parenting in Adoption, 
9:30AM-2PM, 801 Portola Dr, Ste. 202, San Francisco register online here OR email or call 415-871-7902 ($100/person; $190/couple) (see flyer in Attachments for details)

May 10SAVE THE DATE - Walk Me Home - A Fundraising Walk & Picnic - Stay tuned for more info!

 

Welcome New Foster Family
by Cindy Wasserman


Marin County Children and Family Services would like to extend a warm welcome to Rolshawn Wilkes and Ashley Leonard.  Rolshawn, a professional caretaker of mentally disabled adults, resides in Marin City with her adult daughter, Ashley.  Rolshawn is licensed for two children, ages four to 10, and she will be fostering boys.  A single parent, Rolshawn will benefit from the enthusiastic assistance of her daughter, who is playful, smart and kind and will be a wonderful role model.  Both women are nurturing and compassionate.  They will provide a loving home for children in need.

Licensing Corner
by Cindy Wasserman

 

All foster parents need a break occasionally.  Respite time is so important to build into your schedule, whether its time for a movie, an all-day outing, or a few nights away from the homestead!  The next question that instantly comes to mind is "Who can legally care for our foster children?"  It can be a complication that oftentimes prevents you from getting away.  We've attached a handy chart to help you answer that question.  Check it out!

March Book Club Meeting and Tea

 

When: March 28th @ 10:00am  Where: Jacie Datnow's house  
Please RSVP to jdatnow@gmail.com

 

This month we will be reading The Color of Water by James McBride.  The Color of Water tells the remarkable story of Ruth McBride Jordan, the two good men she married, and the 12 good children she raised.  It is a testament to one woman's true heart, solid values, and indomitable will. Ruth Jordan battled not only racism but also poverty to raise her children and, despite being sorely tested, never wavered. In telling her story--along with her son's--The Color of Water addresses racial identity with compassion, insight, and realism.  

Opportunities
 

Trainings - Trainings of considerable interest are being offered this spring and are noted below and in the Calendar section.  Informational flyers are in the Attachments section.

 
  • Thursday, March 6, 9 AM-12 PM - Matrix Parent Network and Resource Center presents a general overview of developmental delays, resource and referral information for families and providers for at-risk children aged 0-3, and an overview on the transition to preschool special education.
  • Thursday, March 6, 7-9 PM - Heart Matters - What to do with Children's Feelings ($20)
  • Friday, March 7 and Saturday, March 8, 9 AM-4 PM - Making Sense of Aggression and Defiance Issues in Children ($289)
  • Wednesday, March 19, 11 AM-12:30 PM - Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
  • Saturday, March 22, 1-4 PM - How to Access the Juvenile Court: A Legal Training for Foster Parents  ($25 fee).  
  • Saturday, April 12, 9:30 AM-2 PM - Attachment Parenting in Adoption ($100/person; $190/couple)

Enrichment Funds Available - After School Enrichment Funds specifically for current foster youth are available for extracurricular activities, thanks to donations from Sleep Train.  If your foster youth would like to attend an after-school or weekend activity that promotes health, physical activity or learning, please fill out our on-line After School Enrichment Funding Application located on our website’s program page, in the tutoring section.

MAILING ADDRESS
4280 REDWOOD HIGHWAY, SUITE 1B
SAN RAFAEL, CA 94903
415-507-0557

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