Wendell August Forge Collects Toys for The Bair Foundation Child & Family Ministries’ Foster Children

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Wendell August Forge has served the Grove City PA community since 1923 as America’s oldest and largest forge.  Wendell  August is giving back to the community. In early July they contacted The Bair Foundation, a Christian foster care and adoption ministry established in 1967, for a great partnership.  Collaboratively these two pieces of the Western Pennsylvania tapestry came together to restore the wonder of Christmas for foster youth!  From July 16th – July 31st, any customer who brought in a Christmas gift for a child in foster care was able to receive a free Wendell August Forge “Believe in the Magic”collectible Christmas ornament. On August 1st, Wendell August Forge’s Flagship store in Grove City, PA celebrated the closing to the “Christmas in July” celebration where hundreds of gifts were presented to The Bair Foundation staff on behalf of the Wendell August Forge customer community.  What a joyous Christmas it will be for our foster children of Western Pennsylvania! 

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The Bair Foundation Awarded $150,000 in Grants from The Rees-Jones Foundation and The Meadows Foundation for Kinship Therapeutic Foster Care

 

The Bair Foundation received 2 grants totaling $150,000 for the Kinship Therapeutic Foster Care in Dallas, TX.

It is the philosophy of The Bair Foundation that children belong with families and not in an institution. As an alternative to a Residential Treatment Center, foster youth can have their treatment needs met in the home of a caring relative or with someone with whom they have a kinship bond. Over the past year, the Bair Foundation and Our Community Our Kids (OCOK) of Fort Worth have worked together to locate relatives and fictive kin for children placed in residential treatment centers. Thanks to two very generous community partners, Rees-Jones Foundation and The Meadows Foundation, The Bair Foundation will be able to continue and expand the Kinship Therapeutic Foster Care program (KTFC).

Once the relatives are trained and verified by The Bair Foundation, the children are placed into their homes. The children then have access to a full array of services and supports to keep them safe, achieve permanency and thrive. The Bair Foundation staff provide the kinship families with ongoing support as they help children overcome issues and learn to address their mental, social, emotional, and behavioral health needs.

The generous grant awards from Dallas-based Rees-Jones Foundation ($50,000) and The Meadows Foundation ($100,000), will enable The Bair Foundation to add two staff members, a Kinship Family Finder and a Kinship Family Trainer, to assist the current Family Search and Transition Specialist already on staff. The Rees-Jones Foundation awarded $50,000 in 2015 for the KTFC pilot initial implementation.

The Bair Foundation of Tulsa Recognized as a Leader of Excellence

Tulsa, OK – Covenant Group Ministry, Inc. (CGM) has chosen The Bair Foundation to receive its 2016 Annual Greater Tulsa Community Empowerment Life Time Achievement Award: Honoring Leaders of Excellence. Bair has been an active child and family ministry since 1967 and has provided services in Oklahoma since 1994. Bair was chosen for this award because of its excellent leadership, contributions and accomplishments in restoring and empowering children, youth and families. The award was presented at an elegant awards luncheon on April 23, 2016 which was declared “Greater Tulsa Community Empowerment Awards Day” by the Governor.

CGM has been striving since 1996 to transform and stabilize the lives of men, women, and families. They offer multifaceted projects that address the challenges inherent to homelessness, substance and child abuse and recidivism. The annual awards ceremony is one of the ways they promote excellence, discussion and cooperation in the community. For more about CGM, see www.cgmoutreachtulsa.org

Bair’s Oklahoma State Director, Tara Best, was honored to receive the award and participated as a panelist in the Community Café Conversation about foster care. Oklahoma is one of the many states that is using this format to bring together a volunteer group of experts and parents to discuss issues of concern. The goal is to directly engage parents in building the protective factors needed to prevent maltreatment and promote healthy outcomes for their children. The intimacy of the conversation and parent leadership help to create a level of candor that might not be achieved in a standard focus group or other feedback or input process.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

By Jean Reardon

Pinwheels are turning at the Bair Foundation in recognition of CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH. In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the new national symbol for child abuse prevention through Pinwheels for Prevention®. The use of Pinwheels as a reminder that children should have great childhoods has increased since then. The blue pinwheels at Bair are reminders to the community, that child abuse is everyone’s business. During the month of April, initiatives focus on holding family-friendly events, educating the public about how they can help to prevent child abuse and providing resources to advocates and families.

Everyone has a role to play in preventing child abuse and supporting families. Help us keep children safe, by opening up your heart and home to a foster child or teen. Our foster parents have a positive, direct impact on kids who have been abused to help them heal and lead happy, productive lives. Call our local office at 724-946-2220 to learn more about the ministry of foster care or visit us on www.bair.org.

Bair Celebrates National Adoption Month

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Every year during the month of November, thousands of community organizations and social service agencies arrange and host programs, events and activities to share positive adoption stories, challenge the myths and draw attention to the thousands of children in foster care who are eligible for adoption. According to the Christian Alliance for Orphans, there are more than 100,000 children and teens in the U.S. foster care system that are waiting for a “forever” home. Throughout the month, The Bair Foundation Child & Family Ministries and many of their adoptive parents will join forces to raise awareness about adopting from the foster care system and the great need for more adoptive homes.

Bair foster family, Niki and Seth Reichart are just one of the many couples who have opened their heart and their home to foster children who were adoptable, as well as those who are not.

Long before they were married, Niki and Seth Reichart knew that they wanted to adopt. “I believe that the Lord has commanded us all to the orphan care ministry in some way,” Niki expressed as she spoke of her inspiration to get involved in the foster care system. “Whether it is being a foster parent, supporting those who foster or adopt, public awareness or fundraising, we are all called upon to help God’s children.”

“With our desire to care for orphans, we had started on the private adoption road for a few years, but it just was not working out for us. It was not until my brother had mentioned the fact that there are so many kids in the foster care system waiting for a “forever home” that we felt that this was the direction God wanted us to take. Realizing that there are many ways to care for orphans, not just through adoption, we began our journey down the foster care road, and we would not want it any other way. We have completely just fallen in love.”

The Reicharts had been involved in the foster care system since 2009 and during that time they had many children come through their home and ended up adopting one of them, a little girl named Elianna. Their family continued to grow with their four biological sons, Grayson, Roman, Jackson and Tyson, but they still felt as though something was missing. After taking a break for a little while after the adoption of their daughter, they decided to recertify their home for foster care. Shortly after making that decision, Solomon was placed in their home. His brothers and sister welcomed Solomon with opened arms and a year later the adoption process was set in motion.

One September morning, Niki and Seth woke up full of nerves and excitement as their family got into the car and headed to the courthouse. They were greeted with balloons, cakes, photographers and so much love, celebration and excitement when they arrived to officially adopt their 17 month old son, Solomon.

“It was such a fun and exciting experience. The judge even included our children and had each of them stand up and introduce themselves.”

All of the nerves from earlier that morning had disappeared as they continued with making the adoption legal. “I cannot even describe the feeling of fulfillment, relief and happiness that we felt when the judge said that he was officially presenting Solomon Reichart.” Niki mused, “He was legally ours. We knew that was the name that we wanted, but to hear the judge verbally say it and make it official… was simply amazing. He was permanently a part of our family and that missing feeling was filled with an overwhelming amount of love.”

“We do not know how many kids we want to adopt, but we definitely want to continue doing foster care”, said Niki. “We are at a point where we are deciding if we want to take a little break or if we want to dive back in.”

Niki says that she shares information about foster care and foster-to-adopt with anyone that is interested, “It is a great opportunity to teach children about the love of Jesus, whether it is for two days, two months or forever.” She went on to say [that] “being involved in the foster care system provides the opportunity to obey the Lord’s call of caring for orphans, and to be an example of and share His love.”

So as the Reichart family and many other adoptive families celebrate National Adoption month, let us remember those children still in care who are waiting…waiting for a family to call their own.

Contemplating the challenges of foster care adoption is made a bit easier with the right information and a network of professional supporters. The permanency staff at The Bair Foundation, Pittsburgh office stands ready to help in any way they can. To find out more, call 412-341-6850. Bair also have offices in New Wilmington, Altoona, Harrisburg and Erie PA. For contact information, visit Bair’s website at http://www.bair.org.

The family information:

Niki and Seth Reichart

GROWING FAMILIES THROUGH FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION IN KENTUCKY

THE BAIR FOUNDATION IS PARTNERING WITH THE CABINET FOR HEALTH AND FAMILY SERVICES TO HOST A FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION FAIR

The Bair Foundation, The Cabinet for Health and Family Services and at least a dozen private foster care agencies are hosting a Foster Care and Adoption Fair Saturday, May 24th from 10am to 1pm at the Centenary United Methodist Church, 2800 Tates Creek Road, Lexington. The Foster Care and Adoption Fair provides an opportunity for prospective foster and adoptive parents to learn more about the hundreds of children currently in the foster care system who are in need of foster and adoptive families.

In Kentucky, there are 1,774 children with a goal of adoption; of those 1774 children, 855 are legally free for adoption; of those 855 children, 355 children do not have identified families at this time.  Children need a family for life, not just until they reach 18 and leave foster care. The Foster Care and Adoption Fair is a great event for everyone who has ever considered fostering or adopting a child and to learn more about the children who are awaiting adoptive families in our community.

Emily Deitrick, Intake Coordinator for The Bair Foundation will be available for share the ministry of foster care.  In addition there will be breakout sessions to discuss foster care and adoption.  Food will be provided by Thursday’s Child and there will be drawings for Door Prizes!

The Bair Foundation’s Executive Director, Susan Miklos, recently earned her Doctorate Degree with honors from California Coast University in Santa Ana, CA.

 

 The Executive Director of The Bair Foundation recently received her Doctorate Degree in Business Administration late last week. Graduating with honors from California Coast University in Santa Ana, Dr. Susan Miklos will continue to work in the field of child welfare.

“Ever in the pursuit of excellence and professional development, our executive director made many personal sacrifices to achieve her lifelong goal of achieving her Doctorate degree. Susan continues to strengthen herself and our organization by continuing her education to the highest degree. The Bair Foundation is very proud of her and her accomplishments,” stated Dorie Alcaro, Marketing Director for The Bair Foundation.

Described as a progressive, energetic business woman, administrator, and leader, Dr. Miklos has over 30 years of experience in the field of child welfare. Dr. Miklos’ career with the foundation started in 1985 as a case manager. She quickly moved up throughout the organization to become the Ohio Placement Services Director, and soon after the Vice President of The Bair Foundation. Since 1992, Dr. Miklos has served as the foundation’s Executive Director and has played a key role in expanding the organization’s programs and services across the country.

As the Executive Director of The Bair Foundation, Dr. Miklos has expanded the foster care agency from serving less than 200 foster youth to over 7,000 children and hundreds of families in crisis each year. Under her leadership, the foundation continues to grow; currently 31 offices are in operations.

As a well-known child advocate Dr. Miklos strives to provide high quality services for children, teens, and families that meet their specific needs.