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Bair Foundation Foster Mother Chosen For D.C. Advocacy

Erie – The Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program has selected an Erie resident for the program this year. Britni Burlingham, a foster parent with The Bair Foundation, was in Washington D.C. the week of May 22, 2017. Britni attended a two-day Young Leaders Training Academy to prepare for the meetings with policymakers. Then she shadowed Congressman Glen Thompson from Pennsylvania’s 5th District for a day, giving her the opportunity to gain a hands-on understanding about how the U.S. government works on a daily basis. Britni said, “We all did our very best at the trainings during our stay, and advocating for our current and future foster youth to our Congressman”. Congressman Thompson plans to stay in touch with Britni and wants to visit Erie in August for a listening session.

To be chosen for this program, Britni had to apply and be interviewed. The program is open only to former foster youth. About her classmates, Britni said, “All of these young, and inspiring people have gone through such awful experiences, but yet, they are all highly educated, kind hearted and determined to achieve greatness. Honestly, there were people there who have obtained anywhere from Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s and all the way to PHD’s. We had at least two Dr.’s in this crowd of 109 Shadowers, from 30 different states. One of the young men, is even attending Yale University currently.” Brittni learned about federal foster care policy, as well as what a workday is like for Congress members. She was able to share her experience in the foster care system with the Congressional representative and White House staffers she met, giving them greater insight into the effect of federal policies on real people.

Britni has a unique perspective on foster care in Pennsylvania since she was in foster care herself, is now a foster mother and also works part time for The Bair Foundation, a foster care agency with an office in Erie, PA. Participating in the Foster Youth Shadow Program adds yet another dimension to Britni’s understanding of the foster care system.

Foster parents are needed now more than ever because of the drug epidemic. Any resident of Erie and the surrounding area who is passionate about helping children and who would like to experience the rewards of being a foster parent can contact Bair through the website, http://www.bair.org, or, to receive a free information packet, contact Kelly at 814-833-2247.


About The Bair Foundation Inc.

The Bair Foundation Inc. is a national organization that has successfully cared for and treated children, teens and families since 1967. With 32 offices in 9 states they offer a myriad of community-based services which include: Treatment Foster Care, Traditional Foster Care, Adoption Services, Medically-Needy Foster Care, Independent Living Services, Parent Empowerment Program, B.E.S.T. Program, Wraparound Services, In-Home Services, Assessment Home, & Outpatient Services. The Bair Foundation is accredited by COA (Council on Accreditation) and is a member of Alliance for Children and Families; Christian Alliance for Orphans; Family Focused Treatment Association; National Foster Parent Association; National Association of Christian Child and Family Agencies; and the Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth and Family Services.

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.