As 2018 comes to a close, I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation and thanks to everyone who has made this year a tremendous success. As you have heard many times, the mission of the Family Care Network is “to enhance the wellbeing of children and families in partnership with our community.” Thankfully, 2018 was another demonstration of the power of partnership in serving the most needy children, youth and families on the Central Coast.
Hi, I’m Sandra, a new Youth Partner at Family Care Network. I’m a good fit for the job, because I have been in the foster care system since I was thirteen, and I’ve utilized many of the programs that Family Care Network provides! I have been in Emergency Shelter Care, multiple foster homes, received Wraparound services when I was living with my mom, and also participated in the Transitional Housing Placement Program prior to and after turning eighteen. I also utilized the Independent Living Program throughout many of those years.
“Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.” --George Sand, 1870
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Adoption is a blessing that came to us; we did not seek it ourselves. My wife and I were in our pediatrician’s office for our daughter’s 8-year checkup and, after the appointment was over, the doctor pulled us aside for a brief conversation. He shared, “I have a client who is a single teenage mother of twins and who is pregnant again and she and her mom have decided it would be best for her to find a loving Christian family to adopt her unborn child.
The programs and support we provide to the youth and families in our care are designed to be strength-based, trauma-informed, and, most of all, empowering. We believe that the relationship between caregivers--whether they be biological parents/family members, foster parents, respite providers, teen parents or adoptive/guardians--and the children in their care is vital to the overall success of every child and family. Therefore, empowering and encouraging healthy relationships within families is one of our main objectives.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and on our blog we’ve shared different perspectives on this tremendously impacting issue, detailing how detrimental it is to our families, communities and culture as a whole. Every instance of domestic violence has multiple victims; multiple lives irrevocably changed. Below is such a life. Tanya Winje, an FCNI Program Supervisor, bravely shares her personal story of fear, hopelessness, survival and healing.
Previously on our blog, we introduced you to Destiny and shared her personal journey from foster youth to FCNI Youth Partner. We’ve been so thankful for Destiny and her inspirational spirit--she truly transformed her life and circumstances into teaching opportunities to support our Transitional-Age youth in amazing ways. We’re now sharing the next leg of Destiny’s journey, as she continues to follow her dreams and inspire us all.
I’ve always loved the fall. Harvest season, autumn; our transition from the heat of summer towards the cool tranquility of winter. Autumn is a bold reminder of an axiom of life–we reap what we sow! This is the law of Harvest. No crop will emerge to be harvested without their first being seeds sown; conversely, whatever we sow in life will inevitably produce something, sometimes good and sometimes not so much.
Are we all addicted to something? Interesting question! Dr. Anne Wilson Schaef puts it this way, “Life in the U.S. is so stressful that it is impossible not to become addicted to something. We live in a society that not only encourages addiction, but almost demands it. Some addictions, such as workaholism, are actually applauded in our culture, while others, such as nicotine, TV, internet porn, gambling, and sex addiction, are simply tolerated.