New Foundations, Inc.
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Welcome to New Foundations’ quarterly care. We are developing web pages to display our newsletter. Our objective is to keep our staff, foster parents, children and other social service professionals informed as to what is happening in each of our offices. Since our newsletter will be available to view on our website, we will use first names only in conjunction with the children placed in our children’s drawings and paintings, so please submit any artwork you would like to have posted to your case manager, supervisor or recruiter. We would also like to hear from our foster families and our teenagers about your experiences with New Foundations and the foster care system, so we also encourage you to submit your accounts or stories to your case manager, supervisor or recruiter as well. By sharing your accounts on our website, we would like to provide a better understanding of the rewards and challenges of foster parenting to prospective foster parents and other interested parties. 

About New Foundations

New Foundations is a private, non-profit child welfare agency that is licensed by the Department of Public Welfare to provide service to children and families in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. We currently serve 234 children and their foster and biological families in the following ways:

  • Foster Care Services
  • Kinship Care Services
  • Aftercare Services
  • Adoption Services
  • SCOH Services

Program Office News

New Foundations successfully underwent its annual inspection by the Department of Human Services in September. We did very well in the inspection and continue in our pursuit to provide high-quality services to the children and families in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties.

On October 29 and 30, New Foundations’ staff took part in a training on Cultural Diversity and Competence. Trainers Kim Olver and Sylvester Baugh provided information in an interesting and enjoyable format. The class was enjoyed by all.  New Foundations has successfully moved into our new office located at 7210 Rising Sun Avenue, Suite A, Philadelphia, PA 19111. The move took place in late October. The renovations are mostly completed now and the office is fully functional. We hope our children, families and resource parents will feel more comfortable in the new office which provides more space for everyone, although it may be a little farther away from some of our homes.                 

                

Philadelphia Office

The Philadelphia office is doing a magnificent job as they continue to manage over 150 children in foster and kinship care. Hats off to the Philadelphia Office that is currently fully staffed with case managers, secretaries, and transporters. The Philadelphia office works together as an effective team with the support and guidance of supervisors Deatrice Fields and Sherron Samuels. New Foundations is sad to see case manager Nicole Lee, leave and re-locate to Arizona. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors and accomplishments. Good Luck Nicole Lee.

The Philadelphia team works to achieve permanency by reuniting children with their biological families as well as through adoption and permanent guardianship. We give special thanks to all of our foster parents who provide nurture and love to our children in need and are a wonderful asset to our team.

The Philadelphia team continues to acknowledge exceptional and outstanding foster parents on a monthly basis. The foster parent of the month receives an award certificate along with a gift card from Wal-mart or a super market. The foster parent of the month is decided upon by the case managers nominating one foster parent on their case load list and speaking highly of the foster parent to the other staff members as to why that foster parent should win foster parent of the month. The other staff members then vote for the best candidate. Congratulations to Shadeen Holmes who won foster parent of the month for September 2008, Calamity Caldwell for October 2008, and Catherine & Joseph Stanton for November 2008. Keep up the good work foster parents!!!!!!!!

The children that we provide services for here at New Foundations are our pride and joy. We are delighted and thrilled when our children achieve and stand out in areas and activities, despite the disruptions of life.  We salute Alexander for starting his first job at Shop-Rite supermarket, and to his sister Destiny for being accepted into a Science Academy School entering the ninth grade. In addition, Solomon was recently appointed as a Jr. Deacon at his local church, while Vishna continues to win trophies and awards for her soccer playing abilities, as well being on honor roll by receiving all A’s on her report card.

As the children and the foster parents excel, so do the staff here at the Philadelphia office. Congratulations to casemanager Nafeesah Reed on her marriage. Best wishes to you and your husband as you begin a new life together. Joyce Palmer secretary and Najah Knight, case aide continues their studies at Community College of Philadelphia majoring in Liberal Arts, and Human Services.

 

Swarthmore Office 

As the weather gets a little cooler, the leaves change color and fall off their branches, scarecrows have greeted us in doorways, and pumpkins have adorned the stoops, Swarthmore Office is preparing for the holiday season. In September, we had resource parent Mr. Rodriguez and his colleague Dr. Liu present "Eye Health" for an interesting and informative Foster Parent Training. In October, we completed our Annual Home Inspections and re-certified our resource parents and their homes. November started the Traditional Holiday Season as we enjoyed Thanksgiving and begin to plan for Christmas. 

 

Recruitment

The Recruitment Unit continues to approve resource homes in both offices. Nine new homes were approved during the last quarter. Recruiters, Kirsten Kovalchick and Ebony Fowler, have settled in their new Rising Sun office. Recruiter Kwanda Smith remains in the Swarthmore office along with supervisor Sandie Caulder.

The recruitment unit joined with other New Foundations employees for an enjoyable and instructive training on Cultural Competence in October. Sandie Caulder also attended a software demonstration by Innovative Solutions in October. Kwanda attended the Lower Gywnedd Countrie Picnic this fall and has also been busy at the Lansdowne YMCA providing information on foster care and adoption.

 

Services to Children in Their Own Homes (SCOH)

During this quarter we had seven successful discharges. Our families were very appreciative of SCOH services provided by New Foundations, Inc. We continue to collaborate with The Department of Human Services to ensure safety for all of our families. The SCOH unit is looking forward to the Holiday Season and bringing joy to our families. We continue to wish Wenonah Carney and Margie Hayes much success in their educational endeavors.

 

Adoption   

The adoption unit continues to do a wonderful job achieving permanency for children in foster care.  Supervisor, Amy Morris, reports that the adoption unit is currently working on thirty-nine Performance Based Contract (PBC) adoptions through the Philadelphia Department of Human Services. Through the SWAN contract, they are currently working on eight units of service with Delaware County CYS.  They also have four waiting family profiles in study.  In addition, they are currently working on proposals to provide Post-Permanency Adoption Services and Child Specific Recruitment.  Amy attended a training on FACES and Risk Assessment on September 30, 2008, which are assessments used for post-permanency services. John Sandy is the South East Regional Technical Assistant for New Foundations, Inc. 

 Adoption Coordinators, Rachel Buxbaum and Joy Lander, attended the SWAN SE Regional meeting on September 9, 2008. The topic was “Post-Permanency Services 101.” Amy and Joy attended the SWAN Quarterly meeting on October 28, 2008. They attended the following workshop: “Child Specific Recruitment (CSR) and Family Engagement-Putting it all Together.” Joy attended the New Unit Provider meeting for child preparation and post-permanency services on November 18, 2008.

 Amy continues to attend the quarterly DHS Supervisor's forums, which have been focusing on developing the family profile, child preparation, and Act 160.  Amy, Rachel, and Joy also continue to attend monthly Delaware Valley Adoption Council meetings. Meetings this quarter included a matching event and the following trainings: “Making Ends Meet” and “Trauma and Attachment.” In addition, adoption staff continue to attend training through PCCYFS. Amy, Rachel, and Joy also participated in Cultural Competence training at New Foundations, Inc. on October 30, 2008.

 if you, or anyone you are connected with is interested in learning more about adopting a child, please contact our adoption unit at (215) 203-8733.

 

Aftercare

 Aftercare Services are provided to children and families who have achieved permanency through Reunification and Permanent Legal Custodianship (PLC). Services are provided by New Foundations Aftercare case managers for 12 months post permanency. New Foundations Aftercare program services 27 families.

             

DON’T FORGET…
Don’t forget that we are always looking for new foster parents so we are better able to match the children coming into our care with qualified and caring foster families. If you, or anyone you are connected with is interested in learning more about foster parenting, please contact our recruitment or case management staff at (215) 203-8733 or (610) 876-4474 or 1-877-NFI-4KID (1-877-634-4543) or visit our website at www.nfi4kids.org.

The Importance of Family Dinner   

The holiday season is approaching fast and as we begin to focus on our festive dinner menus, we must also remember the most important aspect of this season; spending time to connect with your family. Many of us only take advantage of this during family gatherings and special events, but research has shown that the benefits of having dinner together regularly can last a lifetime. Some of these benefits include: keeping children on a consistent routine; reopening the lines of communication between parents and children and introducing a great way to have low cost fun with your children.

 Encouraging family dinner will help your children learn how to keep a daily routine. A child’s week can be very hectic and they may not have many chances to slow down and spend daily time with their family. However, if there is a regular scheduled time for family dinner every night or every other night, your child will become used to having that regular contact with their family. This can encourage a positive parent-child relationship that will last throughout their lifetime. Family dinner will prove to be a relaxing and stress free time for both parent and child to unwind and enjoy each other’s company

Having family dinner time is also an excellent way for parents to positively influence their children through open communication. This is the perfect time of the day to talk with your children and find out who they really are. You will be able to catch them right when their day is coming to an end. So try to encourage them to open up by asking them questions like about how their day went. Be creative and try getting them to tell you one exciting or funny thing that happened to them during their day. You can even include this as a regular ice breaker every night so your children can get used to doing this. You can find out a lot about your children by just listening to their daily events. This will also allow you to be the first one to comment and even offer suggestions to problems in their social life like peer pressure. Many children make bad choices because of the advice they receive from their peers, this is partly because they don’t have a chance to communicate with a more responsible person during their day. Let family dinner be your first step to having a more open relationship with your child

Lastly, family dinner can be a fun way to spend time with your children. Everyone has to eat at some point in their day so why not share that special time with your family and have fun while doing it. Let your children take turns choosing a theme once a week. It can be anything from “under the sea”, or “foods of the world”, to having a “teddy bear picnic” or celebrating “seasonal foods”. Children will enjoy the fact that their ideas are welcomed and accepted and parents get to see the uniqueness and imagination in their children. These ideas can help to make dinner time fun but can also help encourage creativity in your children. So, let’s try to bring back a tradition of our parents and grandparents with family dinner. Your children are only young for a short time so you should take this opportunity to create fun and positive memories that will last them a lifetime.

For more information on my sources:

   
 

December December 2008
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Bedroom Fire Safety-Kids & Fire:
 

1. Keep matches and lighters locked up and away from children

2. Check in “hiding places” such as under the bed, closets and in bedrooms for evidence that your child has been playing with matches or lighters.

3. Teach your child that fire is not a toy but a tool to be used by adults only.

 

   
 

Appliances Need Special Attention:
 

1. Do not trap electric cords against walls where heat can build up

2.  If a portable heater is being used, make sure bedding, clothes, curtains and other combustibles are at least 3 feet away from them

   
 

Tuck Yourself In For A Safe Sleep:n="center">Tuck Yourself In For A Safe Sleep:

1. Never smoke in bed.

2. Replace mattresses before the 2007 Federal Mattress Flammability Standard. Matresses are now required to be safer.

3. Have working smoke detectors on each level of your home and in halls outside bedrooms.

4. Remember to practice a home escape plan frequently with your family

   

 

 

Philadelphia Program Office
7210 Rising Sun Avenue · Suite A
Administrative Office · Philadelphia, PA 19111
(215) 203-8733
(215) 745-0329 (Fax)
Toll Free: 1-877-NFI-4KID

  Swarthmore Program Office
630 Fairview Road, Suite 202
Swarthmore, PA 19081
(610)-876-4474
(610) 328-4631 (Fax)