Hello Foster Parents and Staff,
It has been my honor and privilege to share my research, anecdotes, personal experiences and, hopefully, “wisdom” with all of you. For the children and youth in our care, we are charged with keeping them safe, being their mentors and teachers and helping them make good choices as they maneuver their own paths throughout life, in and out of the child welfare system. My twenty-three years with JCFS have been filled with challenging, yet fulfilling experiences; the lessons of which I have been able to apply to many other aspects of my life as a husband, father, grandfather and friend to others.
- As we tell our foster parents during training: “Don’t take the negative behavior of others so personally. You can only control your own choices, and in doing so, try to influence others in a more positive way.”
- As parents, we are our children’s first and most important teachers; imparting lessons that will benefit them or harm them the rest of their lives, depending upon our own motives and behavior.
- And as my father always said, “Be true to your commitments, just show up and adjust to the constant changes over which you have no control. That’s the best stress-management strategy there is.”
I will always be mindful, as I retire from JCFS, that “we are all in this together, in the best interests of the children and youth whom we serve” along with the support we give to each other in the process.
Marc Bermann, Foster Parent Recruiter/Trainer
Behind the Scenes
We are working to make sure all foster parents are aware of upcoming court dates so you can plan to attend as needed. Our case managers will be integrating this important information into their home visits with you.
We also want to be sure the reimbursement process is as simple as possible! An email version of the JCFS reimbursement form will allow you to enter mileage and the calculation is done for you. All you have to do is complete the form, print it out, and sign it. You can mail the completed and signed form, give it to your case manager, or bring it to the office!
Knowing that many of you have waited too long to make your commitment final we are addressing the significant challenge of making sure that the young people in JCFS foster care have completed adoptions and guardianships in a timely manner. In the last few months, we have increased the number of children reaching permanency and will continue to place emphasis on this important issue.
New Team Member
Keesha Brooks recently joined our team as Foster Parent Supervisor, and oversees licensing, rapport building, and advocacy for foster parents. She brings many years of experience in child welfare to JCFS as an outreach worker, advocate for kids in care (especially in the court system), case manager, and advocate for caregivers.
Keesha is thrilled with the energy around the JCFS child welfare program, along with the opportunity to work collaboratively with foster parents to build a supportive foundation. Her best advice for foster parents is, “Always keep in mind, the best interest of the child comes first, and that you are an important part of the team.” She takes that a step farther with an acronym to share with foster parents- We “SEE U” (Support, Empower, Encourage, Uplift).
Keesha is an outstanding athlete who has played both professional football and basketball. She enjoys working out, riding her motorcycle, going to the movies, and playing video games. Her favorite foods include seafood (especially crab legs) and steak. She is excited to be part of the JCFS team and hopes to make our program “legendary” for the kids and families we serve.