Tag Archives: foster care

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.

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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.

Bair Foundation Advocates for Improved Foster Care

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Austin – Foster Care Reform efforts continue in Texas, as the Texas legislature is currently considering Senate Bill 11, a legislative package outlining substantial changes to the way the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) cares for the state’s foster children. In keeping with their mission to protect children, the Bair Foundation is advocating for its passage. Bair Foundation representatives attended the February 1 advocacy day organized by the Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services and a hearing held by the Health and Human Services Committee on February 2. They personally met with legislators in Austin to make their voice heard. Dr. Susan Miklos, Executive Director, and Glenna Bilberry, State Director, emphasized that this bill addresses a variety of critical concerns in the current foster care system, provides increased continuity of care for children and families, and will create a triage assessmentsystem to get appropriate services to high needs children more quickly.

The Bair Foundation has been a voice for child protection and advocacy since its founding in 1967. With six offices in Texas, Bair provides quality care to the most vulnerable of Texas citizens. For more information about The Bair Foundation or how to become a foster parent, see the website http://www.bair.org.

PHOTO CAPTION: Glenna Bilberry, State Director; Destiny Olson, Austin Recruiter; Kevin and Jenny Langford, foster parents; Dr. Susan Miklos, Executive Director; and Miranda Bryant, Austin Director of Social Services

 

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.

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 Child and Family Ministries Opens Our First Girls’ Home in the Texas Panhandle

The Bair Foundation Girls’ Home gives teen girls in foster care a fresh start! 

With celebrities getting all the attention for adopting children, The Bair Foundation would like to recognize foster parents, Alex and Nancy Porter for overseeing Bair’s newly opened Girls’ Home in the Texas Panhandle. The home has enough space for 12 girls that may include teen moms and their babies. Mr. and Mrs. Porter have fostered with The Bair Foundation Child and Family Ministries for the past ten years and consider “championing” teen girls their ministry. Many of the former foster youth who passed through their home still call them “mom” and “dad” when they stop back for the holidays.

The Girls’ Home is equipped to provide a safe, nurturing environment that integrates academic pursuits, counseling, and the opportunity to develop a healthy and productive life. The foster girls placed in the home are referred to Bair by the state and reunification with the biological parent, if possible, is the goal. Placements may be as brief as a few weeks or could last until permanency is secured. These girls have gone through a lot – abuse, neglect, and multiple placements, so the Porters want to provide the stability, structure, and love they need and deserve while in care. Alex and Nancy provide a family setting with regular meals, bedtimes, and scheduled family days out where the girls are encouraged to “just be themselves”.

Bair’s commitment to excellence can be seen in the passion of their dedicated staff, success of their program, and effectiveness of the foster parents like the Porter’s.

There is such a huge need for foster homes that will serve teens, both male and female, and The Bair Foundation is asking the community and church congregations to open their heart and home to local foster youth. Foster Parenting is life-changing and rewarding; if you have a heart for children and teens and want to be part of a team that is truly making a difference, apply now through http://www.bair.org/en-us/joinourteam/becomeafosterparent.aspx

The Amarillo Bair Foundation Raises Awareness for National Child Abuse Prevention

In recognition of April being National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, the Amarillo Bair Foundation held their 3rd annual golf tournament, “Klubing for Kids”, last weekend. The event raised approximately $8,000.

The Amarillo Bair Foundation office held their 3rd Annual Golf Tournament, “Klubing for Kids” this weekend in recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month. Thanks to generous sponsors and golfers who came out to support this great cause, the golf outing raised close to $8,000. All of the funds will be used locally, enabling Bair’s foster youth to attend summer camps, purchase school supplies and finance fun foster family activities.

“Klubbing for Kids” was no ordinary 18-hole golf event. Hole one included a “pot shot”, where golfers were able to tee off while sitting on a toilet. Players were given a chance to win a 2011 Camaro SS at hole eight and on hole nine they were given the opportunity to “hit like a pro.” The tournament concluded with a lunch provided by Cattle Call, awards and a raffle.

The Bair Foundation would like to thank the following people for their continued support for this event: George Priolo, PGA Professional, at Comanche Trail Golf Complex of Amarillo and his team for helping make the tournament run smooth; Michael Goff, owner of FASTSIGNS, for going above and beyond on the tee box signs and to Vance Hall and his team at H & H Print Wear for doing an incredible job on the shirts. Additionally, Bair would like to thank Coca-Cola, Golf Headquarters, Cross Pointe Auto, Daniel Munoz (a man with a huge heart for kids), and our Title Sponsors, Gold – Rod Bowers Construction and Johnson & Sheldon, P.C, Silver – TNT Properties, Ryan O’Neal Autos, Troy D. Timmons, LPC, Titus Caulking and Water Proofing, Edmond, Deaton, & Stephens, and Bronze – Southwest Body Shop and Paul Blake Roofing.

This event would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of The Bair Foundation Amarillo staff, spouses and Regional Director, Rose Ahern.Amarillo Staff at Klubing for Kids Golf Outing