The Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce would like to welcome new member, Indiana Foster Parents Resources & Advocacy Group. For more on this advocacy group read below.
I would like to take the time to introduce myself. My name is Kristi Cundiff. I am the Founder and CEO of the Indiana Foster Parents Resources & Advocacy Group. My husband Brian and I live in a small town in central Indiana. Together we have fostered many children, adopted eight special needs children, and continue to foster youth aged 18-21 years of age for the Collaborative Care Program, through the Indiana Department of Child Services. IFAAP NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.
There are close to 26,000 children placed in foster homes or in a relative placement and approximately 160 children waiting for a FOREVER HOME.
My desire to offer connections and support to other foster and adoptive parents has grown far beyond my initial goal. Today there are almost 5,500 members, and the group continues to expand. We add approximately 20 new members each week.
With this growth and by reading the comments of foster and adoptive parents, I realized how great the needs were in our state. I worked to establish our group as a nonprofit organization so we could provide more coordinated and comprehensive advocacy and support services for foster and adoptive families. As a nonprofit, we are now able to accept tax-deductible donations and to apply for funding that is so needed to accomplish our goals. For more information on our mission, goals, and services please visit our website at fosterandadoptiveparents.org
Our Goals for 2018
INVEST & PROTECT
- Establishing Clothing Closets for Foster Children in each region throughout Indiana that does not have free clothes accessible for foster and adoptive children. Children come to care with few belongings and need clothes, shoes, and coats.
- Focus on financial assistance for child care for all foster children. This would allow more foster homes to take placements of children. Currently, there are children spending the night in local DCS offices with family case managers because of no foster homes available.
- Educate ANYONE AND EVERYONE who works in transporting a child to be SAFE KIDS trained in how to properly install a car seat and appropriately place a child safely in the car seat. (result of 16-month-old Major Maxie’s death while being transported to a visit by an untrained professional while under DCS Care)
- Foster Parent recruitment and retention so children are not spending the night in DCS Offices because of lack of foster homes. Foster Parents need and deserve to be supported. Foster and adoptive families need specialized training to meet the intense needs of children who have experienced neglect and abuse.
- Provide support to the Indiana Department of Child Services to retain Family Case Managers. (currently, there is a 44.6% turn over rate and the average FCM has been with the department less than a year according to the DCS Ombudsman)
- Educate school corporations, DCS Staff, and other professionals on Trauma Informed Care. Allowing them to look through the eyes of a foster child and the world that they had been living in before coming into care.
FOLLOW THE FED
- Follow Federal Policy, specifically termination timelines so foster children have the opportunity for permanency in their life. These kiddos should not be lingering in foster care for years and live with uncertainties.
Help Us Help Families! Your financial support is key in our ability to effectively advocate for foster & adoptive families. No donation is too small. You can help by providing a one time or recurring donation to IFAAP. Your donation will allow IFAAP to provide training, advocacy, technical assistance, information, and resources to the over 5, 500 foster and adoptive parents who provide care and love to children who come from hard places.
Please join us! Give and get involved.Together we will ensure Open Hearts, Loving Homes, and Endless Potential for ALL of Indiana’s children.
Kristi D. Cundiff
P.S. Please support us with your gift today, so we can build a future for tomorrow in Indiana with our state’s most vulnerable children.