UCP Seguin is fortunate to have talented and dedicated Foster Parents that work hard every day to fulfill our Mission. Each year staff nominate several Foster Parents that have gone above and beyond to ensure that the children in our care receive the highest quality of love and support. Here are this year's honorees:
All-Star Foster Parent
Lissette has gone above and beyond to advocate for Bianca, especially for school. She keeps in communication with me and lets me know if there are any changes or if they need any assistance. She is a great example of a foster parent.
Lavern Watkins and Victor
Ms. Watkins has been a great foster parent to Omari and Keyanna. She has been very flexible and has allowed me into the home last minute to assist with minor issues to prevent them from becoming something larger. She provides great care for the kids and is a great advocate for them.
Omari has been provided with a safe and stable environment that nurtures, empathizes, and demonstrates security to mental well-being. As a clinician, I have viewed how trauma affects the emotional and educational beginning of a child. Despite setbacks, foster parents are beyond supportive of team members and biological family. In addition, this writer views the attachment children build despite involvement, I enjoy working with the Watkins family.
Mr. Jenkins has remained flexible throughout COVID and especially after he got sick, he has remained in great contact with me and has advocated for the Anthony and Izel.
From the beginning, Ms. Shaw has been such a great advocate and role model for Arieal. Arieal always has great things to say about Ms. Shaw and being in her home. She is a great advocate for Arieal and makes sure everything is done for Arieal's best interest.
Ms forest has been through a overwhelming amount of physical aggression, property destruction and verbal aggression from Isaiah and she does not allow that to interfere with her determination to help him as much as she can. Ms forest is a very strong willed woman and will not back down from a challenge. She has endured Isaiah and his explosive behaviors for years though it is not normal but in her world with Isaiah she just ignores his maladaptive tendencies and let them work themselves out. She has expressed to me numerous times that she is really concerned about what is going to happen to him when he leaves her home because his impulsivity is not socially appropriate and she is afraid that someone is going to hurt him. When he is gone she expresses how much she miss him and she talks about how sweet he is how he carry her bags in the house how he do as much as he can to make things easier for her but he just cannot control his behavior. She really empathizes with him so much she reluctantly reports when he has been acting inappropriately because she has grown accustom to his behavior and she knows he will eventually stop.
Althea Toolie has a way with the more challenging teens placed in her home. She's the child whisperer. Me. Toolie provides tough love and teaches those hard lessons. In the end, her children always keep the lines of communication open long after they leave her home.
Marcie Ward is very nurturing and accommodating to the children in her home. She gave up her living room so her toddler could have his own large open space to scoot around and play. She put monitors in her garage so she could ensure the safety of another child who needs space, extra time and privacy so he can exercise his stemming behaviors.
Kamesha Johnson loves the little kids and knows how to manage and/or ignore negative behaviors. She can be as nurturing as she needs to be, but her structure and discipline keep them on target and grounded.
Imelda has provided Angela with unconditional support and love. When Angela reenrolled in school, Imelda quit her job to be able to help care for Angela’s infant son. Additionally, Imelda has been a huge advocate in getting Angela the adequate resources she needs at school due to Angela’s language barrier. Imelda has gone above and beyond in taking the time to understand Angela’s triggers. Imelda has been a huge supporter for Angela as she returned to school. Imelda provided her with constant homework help and constant motivational guidance. Imelda understands Angela’s needs and takes initiative to meet her emotional and physical needs. Imelda recognized how important it was for Angela to have her birthday celebrated, so Imelda ensured that Angela had mini birthday celebration. Additionally, Imelda has consistently provided this writer with updates on the client’s well-being, and always effectively communicated with this writer in a timely manner. Imelda takes the time to support UCP Seguin services and with the Angela been huge advocate for therapy. Imelda continues go above and beyond regardless of the youth's behavior.
Claudell provides her Carlreale and Carrion with unconditional support and love. Providing them with the constant reassurance they need and for practicing a trauma informed style of caring for them – practicing patience and understanding when they are triggered. Claudell is constantly ensuring the Carlreale and Carrion needs are being met. This writer has witness Claudell provide verbal reassurance and appreciation to the boys. Claudell has practiced effective communication skills with this writer – always communicating and in a timely manner and helping the therapist set up for virtual activities. Claudell has been flexible to utilizing multiple virtual platforms when needed such as google duo or zoom. Claudell notices that certain things such as her husband’s deep voice could unconsciously trigger the Carlreale and Carrion, and Claudell is willing to have conservations with other adults in the household to better meet the boys' needs. Additionally, Claudell knew how excited the boys were for Disney world so since it got cancelled last year, she took the initiative of rescheduling for the trip for this year. Claudell has shown and continues to show that she is willing to go above and beyond to grantee both the physical and emotional well-being of Carlreale and Carrion.
Open Nest Award
She took in Ashley last minute and continued to give a good home to live. She was always looking out for Ashley and would communicate any issues.
She took in Darius last minute and has gone above and beyond to make her house a home for him. When he first moved, you could tell he felt at home with her. She continues to communicate everything she needs to make her home a successful living space for Darius.
Kamesha Johnson took up the task of assist Lanaya and Devon during disruption and has provided the children a safe, structured and nurturing environment, which has allows the client to explore thoughts surrounding involvement. Despite turmoil from involvement, the children have received tremendous support where team members witness the improvement in academic and behaviors children have demonstrated despite pandemics
Ms Ward will take on more than her plate can handle because she is that kind of person. Ms Ward puts her all into provided a home to her foster children in my observation she just don’t have it in her to say no if her help is needed. Ms Ward accepted Omar into her home though she already had a child in her home that demanded her undivided attention 24/7 and here we are a year later and she is still managing with both children. Ms. Ward has always been accommodating with me in order for Omar to receive his services and she makes sure she gives updates about anything that is new related to Omar.
Marcie Ward has fostered and adopted children who were not the easiest to manage. But she has never given up on a child. She has even extended her capacity to take on another child who had been in a few short term placements so that he could have a permanent, stable and nurturing home.
Ms. Duff will take in any child when asked. She will meet them where they are and do as much I as little as they request. She fosters independence in the older children placed in her home.
Foster Parent Advocate
Bianca has adjusted positively in the Valencia household. Bianca had a disruption, and the foster family provided the client with open arms in 2019. In observing Bianca, she has adapted to changes and processed involvement; it is viewed that Bianca has constructively built coping ability and attachment towards foster family members. Foster parents Lissette Valencia and spouse Leobardo Andrade have offered Bianca a safe and empathetic environment, allowing the client to adapt to circumstances quickly. In addition, many team members have viewed how foster parent advocates for programs Bianca needed both to meet physical and mental stability. Currently, Bianca is in a supportive environment both at home and in the school setting. It seems that the family is preparing to provide a stable environment for the client.
Family First Award
She goes above and beyond for her bio grandson, Seraph he is a chip off the block more than a hand full with his physical aggression, his verbal aggression and his constant mood changes, but that does not waver Ms. Barnes she is consistent in what needs to be done and she stand firm to whatever needs to be implemented for his best interest. Ms. Barnes is very passionate about getting the supports Seraph needs and is willing to do whatever it takes for it to happen. Ms. Barnes is an awesome advocator and an outstanding communicator she is truly one in a million.