Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Foster Family Retreat 2014

Foster families served through MCH Family Outreach came together for a weekend of training, celebrations and fun during the Foster Family Retreat July 18-20 in Waco. Retreats are now hosted every three years by MCH Family Outreach.

Fifty-four families and 159 children attended this year’s retreat visiting from Abilene, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, Lufkin, Lubbock, North Richland Hills, San Antonio, Tyler and Waco. On Friday, families had the opportunity to visit the Waco campus and spend the day at Hawaiian Falls Water Park.

On Saturday, families headed to Austin Avenue United Methodist Church. Children ages 0-8 were cared for by volunteers and staff and entertained by fun activities throughout the day. Waco Fire Department brought out a truck to show the children and let them try on their fire gear. The older children, ages 9 and up, were brought to the Waco campus to experience a “camp day” led by recreation staff. The children were led in a variety of games, art projects, and a movie.

While the children were busy with their day of activities, parents attended training on Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) led by Dr. Karyn Purvis from the Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University. TBRI is an intervention model for a wide range of childhood behavioral problems designed for children who have experienced relationship-based trauma. MCH has partnered with TCU to implement TBRI principles into its childcare practices.

“We hope that foster parents and staff were able to see the principles of TBRI come alive in Dr. Purvis’s presentation and that they take these home with them to assist in their relationships with foster children in their homes,” said Kelly Smith, western regional administrator for MCH Family Outreach. “Additionally, we hope the opportunities for fun, fellowship with other families, and additional training ministered to them and showed them that MCH staff are dedicated to their success as foster families.”

Foster parents and staff were also treated to a lunch and awards ceremony on Saturday to honor several foster families for their service to children in need. Families were invited to attend worship services at Austin Avenue UMC on Sunday.

Alicia Carter, Albuquerque Outreach director, also received the Katherine Anglin Outstanding Social Services Award during Saturday’s lunch. Recipients of this award are nominated and voted for by Family Outreach staff. This award is in memory of Katherine Anglin, an MCH social worker who died suddenly in 2001 who showed much devotion to MCH, its programs and the families she served. Alicia was honored for her leadership and dedication she has shown to her staff and families in Albuquerque. 

Below is a list of this year’s foster care award recipients:

Core Awards:
Christian Principles - Tommy and Debbi Atkinson (Houston), Randy and Barbara Gardell (Waco)
Relationships - Chris and Katie Sherrod (Tyler), Burl and Cherry Hall (Dallas)Responsibility - John and Angela Vilo (Corpus Christi)Growth - Scott and Stephenie Smith (Lubbock), Joe and Janna Ledbetter (Abilene)Service - Amanda and Adam Jeffcoat (Lufkin), George and Angie Bunch (San Antonio)Hope - Miguel and Raquel Herrera (El Paso)

Tenure Awards:
3 Years – Donald and Cindy Beard, Burl and Cherry Hall, Michael and Marisa Luthanen, Howard and Lisa Redwine, George and Angie Bunch, Randy and Barbara Gardell, Mark and Elaine Hageman, Chad and Carrie Larsh, Chris and Katie Sherrod, Linda Vaughn, Joey and Amy Gallardo
5 Years – Scott and Stephenie Smith, Don and Nancy English, Pamela Rogers, Lee and Cynthia Gilmer, Dawn Caesar
10 Years – Michale and Kym Dowers, Jonathan and Shelly Phillips, Dan and Tammy Remmers
15 Years – Cassandra Wells, Bill and Eileen Armstrong, Bobbie and Molly Baughn, Thomas and Debbi Atkinson
20 Years – Sherry Turnbow, Steve and Michelle Gibbs
25 Years - Stan and Jenetta Davis

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