KVC Kansas is shining the spotlight on our amazing Kansas foster care families who go above and beyond to help children and families in our community. Here are some of the incredible families that have been nominated by our staff.
Alesha and Nathan Morrison
Alesha and Nathan work very hard to help the children in their care safely reunite with their birth parents. For example, Alesha recently spent more than an hour in a lobby consoling a father who was upset because he could not have a visit with his child that day. With the same family, she and her husband provided frequent support to the mother and child during reintegration. In addition, the Morrison’s have been willing to take children with high behavioral needs into their home and don’t give up on them. Even when a child returns home, the Morrisons continue to provide support for them in any way they can. On top of this, Alesha recently saw the need for more leaders of TIPS-MAPP classes, which are training sessions required to become a foster or adoptive parent in Kansas. Because of this, she attended the leader training and is now teaching classes to prospective foster and adoptive parents. They have also been generous in donating clothing to KVC’s clothing closet and helping with events like Holiday Heroes and our Back to School Drive.
Thank you Alesha and Nathan for the help and support you give the families and children in your care! (Family nominated by Beth Powell Family Service Coordinator in Pittsburg.)
Halee and Jonah Jones
From the very beginning the Jones family have gone above and beyond to support reintegration and attachment between the children in their home and their parents. They currently have a child with medical needs in their home and have provided tremendous sensitivity, understanding and support to the biological mother and continue to update her with every milestone and development baby makes through detailed emails. Halee and Jonah have not only provided tremendous care to their foster child but continuously support the goal of reintegration between child and parent with love and care. Thank you Halee and Jonah for the love and support you provide to children and their families! (Nominated by Hermon Rezene, Family Support Worker for KVC Kansas in Olathe.)
Debbie and Duane Degravelles go above and beyond to take care of the children placed in their home. They recently took placement of a teen girl who became very upset when she saw Mr. DeGravelles beard, as it was a trauma trigger for her. Mr. DeGravelles immediately shaved off the beard, which he had been growing for 10 years. The DeGravelles are an excellent foster family who are able and willing to provide excellent care and additional support to anyone placed with them. Thank you, Debbie and Duane for everything you do! (Nominated by Kellye Coen, Family Support Worker for KVC Kansas in Olathe.)
Rick and Kelly Patterson
Rick and Kelly Patterson have been big advocates of educational and mental health needs for the hundreds of children that have been in their home through the years. They have taken children with higher needs and are genuinely passionate about providing foster care. Rick and Kelly are truly invested in the reintegration process and consistently communicate with biological parents to provide support and updates on how their children are doing. They are still in contact with, and a great support for, biological parents who have successfully reintegrated with their children. They are always volunteering to help with foster family recruitment efforts, getting their church community involved, foster parent advisory board meetings, teaching foster parent trainings and collaborating with KVC to develop new ways to best support foster families. Thank you, Rick and Kelly, for the support you give the children, and their families, that are in your care! (Nominated by Amanda Everson, Foster Family Worker for KVC Kansas in Olathe)
Tandra and Jesse Redfern are currently caring for two children with significant medical needs. The couple goes above and beyond in transporting the children to all of their appointments – they’ve even spent the night at The University of Kansas Hospital during a sleep study. Jesse and Tandra provide wonderful support to the children in their care with the hope that they will be able to safely return home. The couple is even working with the families in order to achieve that goal. They act as role models for biological parents and have rearranged their schedules to better fit the parent’s schedule when needed. Thank you Tandra and Jesse for all the work you do for children and their families!
Misty Ballard has been a foster parent with KVC since 2010. She is currently caring for two infants with special needs and has even researched both of the children’s conditions in order to better understand how to care for them. With the knowledge she has gained, Misty has been able to advocate for the children to receive needed treatment at different behavioral and developmental clinics. Misty is also caring for a teenage girl who is getting ready to attend college. Misty has been a huge support to the teen, helping her enroll in college, apply for financial aid and buy her first car. Misty looks forward to welcoming the teen home during school breaks and holidays in the coming years. Misty wants the very best for the children that she cares for and participates in all doctor appointments, case plans, best interest staffings and pre-placement meetings. She also transports the children to all appointments and meetings. Thank you Misty for the hard work you do for the children in your care! (nominated by Stephanie Bivins, Family Support Worker for KVC Kansas in Ottawa)
Jerri Ellis and Lucille Nelson
Jerri and Lucille are a mother/daughter duo who have been foster parents since 2015 and are currently caring for two children with significant medical needs. Jerri and Lucille routinely make the two-hour trip to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City for doctor’s appointments and have also adjusted their lifestyle to better help one of the children in their care. They are always willing to do whatever is needed in order to help the children in their home and are actively involved in recruiting new foster homes. Thank you Jerri and Lucille for the hard work you do to care for the children we serve! (nominated by Ashleigh Dooley, supervisor for KVC Kansas)
Dava and Titakorn Bunyarattaphantu have been caring for children in foster care for many, many years and have adopted all of their children from foster care. Some of the children are now fully grown with children of their own! They have been a huge support to the children in their care and always make them feel welcome and comfortable. Their love and devotion to children in foster care is truly amazing! They’re fantastic to work with, supportive of any case plan goal, and AMAZING with children. Thank you Dava and Titakorn for supporting the children and families we serve! (nominated by Rachel Stompoly, Family Support Worker for KVC Kansas)
Rachel and Nathan Webb have been foster parents for 2 years and recently began caring for a young boy with autism. The family has worked hard to educate themselves on the disorder in order to meet the child’s needs, and Rachel has shown incredible patience and understanding while working to safely reunify the boy with his birth mother. Thank you Rachel and Nathan for making a positive impact in the life of this child and his mother! (nominated by Aleesa Lennon, Case Manager for KVC Kansas)
Jana Sawyer has provided long-term placement to two children for about 2 years now. Jana takes reunification very seriously and is always patient and shows compassion to the parents of the children she cares for. She understands the importance of establishing roles, and she reminds them that she is their foster mother and who their parents are. When the children are having a rough time understanding why their parents are absent, Jana is always there to validate their feelings. Jana is present at every court date and case plan and constantly advocates for the children. She understands trauma and responds in the way the children are able to heal effectively. I have enjoyed working with her and the children adore her as well. (nominated by Victoria Clark, Caseworker for KVC Kansas)
We will be featuring more of our amazing foster families throughout the year, so subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates (scroll to the bottom) and follow us on Facebook!
Ever wondered what you need to look for when choosing a foster care agency? This free eBook is the ultimate resource for finding the best agency to support you in your foster parenting journey. Click the image to download it now!
If you would like to make a difference in the life of a child, learn more about becoming a foster parent in Kansas or contact a Community Resource Specialist near you. If fostering doesn’t work in your life right now, there are many other ways to help a child without being a foster parent. Please consider donating or volunteering.