To Brighten Your Day:
Fostering Great Ideas salutes our 100 mentors who develop meaningful relationships with youth in foster care. We share 4 bright stories from April.
- Mentoring is Positive.
Allison is a mentor of 6 years. Her mentee left foster care, and is now an adult. They remain in contact. Trio, a local restaurant, offered a neat concept: purchase a gift card and Trio will donate to your charity of choice. Allison shared her choice of Fostering Great Ideas on Instagram. She tagged her mentee, as she whimsically remarked, “This is the group that led me to you.” Her mentee’s response warms our hearts: “Thank you so much. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ GLAD TO HAVE YOU.”
- Mentoring is Life-Changing.
Johnathan’s mentee is in our College Fellows program. He’s doing well at Greenville Tech and is preparing to start Clemson next fall. Jonathan wants to give this young man a place to call home during college and summer months. So last week, Jonathan began the foster care licensing process to make this dream a reality.
- Mentoring Opens Doors.
Gayle’s mentee was in a complicated situation regarding housing. No longer in foster care, yet with no permanency, she was on a housing wait list and out of other options. Gayle shared in the young lady’s anxiety and uncertainty. After discussion and prayer, Gayle offered her a place to call home. The move date is May 2nd.
- Mentoring Is Long-Term.
Sandy had a mentor relationship that ended two years ago, as the youth moved far away. The youth is being prepared for adoption now and the case worker asked, “Are there any relationships you want to keep from your past?” This 15 year old said, “I want my old mentor back.” She then ran up to her room and brought down a pen that Sandy had given her, with Sandy’s office number listed. The case worker called. Sandy and her mentee spoke last week, re-kindled the connection, and now plan to visit regularly through video conferencing.
To Encourage You:
We can all positively affect another person’s life. Now, more than ever.
Fostering Great Ideas Founder and CEO shares a few words of inspiration.
To Reassure You:
Fostering Great Ideas is focused on innovative approaches in Foster Care.
Our staff has been proactive in adjusting to COVID-19 life changes. Here are notes from some members of the team.
“In my work with the recovery community of moms dealing with substance abuse, structure and routine keep these women moving forward. That has all been disrupted. Services and resources are hard to access, if even available. I have continued to hold my groups, providing needed interaction (while still following health guidelines). It is important that these women know that they are not forgotten and that we can make it through this tough time together.”
~ Dena Garzone,
Peer Support Specialist for Moms Matter
“If I hear a child is struggling, I ask, ‘How can I help?’ I drop off care packages to them with a note, letting them know they are not alone. I’m mailing note cards to kids and encouraging them to write to their brother or sister also.”
Program Manager for Sib-Link
“I have doubled the interactions. We have two virtual calls a month, ensuring that each student knows that I am here for them. My role in their lives is to guide and inspire them, and I intend to do so more now than ever.”
~ Hope Coudayre,
Education Advocate for College Fellows
“Care2Foster has a weekly virtual support group for SC foster parents. One foster parent said, “I need this right now more than ever. But I realize that I need this ongoing support even after Coronavirus passes.”
We also started the Coronavirus Collaborative – connecting child welfare professionals to share ways they are adapting to meet changing needs. A space for people to say, “Here’s a way I think we can help foster parents and help improve the care of children, what do you think?”
~ Kaley Lindquist,
South Carolina Director for Care2Foster