Kentucky’s Largest Street Painting Festival held in Louisville!

Via Colori®, The Street Painting Festival is FREE for the public to attend. It will be held on October 19 and 20, 2019 at the Big Four Lawn at the Louisville Waterfront in Lousiville Ky. Saturday 10am-7pm and Sunday 10am-5pm

Via Colori is a fabulous event which raises funds and awareness for abused and neglected foster kids under the New Beginnings Foundation. This event brings together artists, volunteers, cosplayers, superheroes and businesses and non-profit agencies in a unique community project to raise awareness, funds and community partnership for foster children across the state!

Once a year, Kentucky is transformed into a magical, artistic and creative place where families, artists, musicians, advocates and even pets revel in the knowledge that art can save!

There will be Street Painting, Musicians on two stages, Vendors, plenty of food, large children’s area, Live action adventure Kart racing, bounce houses, street performers, cosplayers, a TARDIS, crafters, artists. an evening art walk, and our own mascot Vicasso!

The event directly benefits New Beginnings Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) that benefits therapeutic foster children across the state of Kentucky.

Our websites:
www.viacolorikentucky.com
www.facebook.com/viacoloriky

Thanks and have a great day!

We encourage every organization who needs a voice to contact us today about booth space. If you are a musician, artist, community leader, business, foster family or even just someone who loves art, contact us today at www.viacolorikentucky.com to see how you can help this amazing endeavor!

When school is out and it is summer time, kids don’t want to think about the next school year. They want to be out playing, inside on games and tablets, sleeping in and so on and so forth. It is really important to keep up skills in the summer that will be used for school. Here are a few tips to do so:

Limit screen time

Limiting screen time will help get your kiddos up and moving! If they are in sports or have to participate in P.E. at school, it is good to help youth stay active so that these activities are not as hard. Staying active also invites more openness for family activities!

Cooking

Encouraging children and youth to cook helps in many ways, but one way is mathematically! Learning measurements and how to convert if needed is a great skill to keep them sharp over the summer.

Grocery Shopping

Providing a list and a budget helps also with life skills but is another way to keep those math skills fresh in their minds! Budgeting is a great skill to teach.

Summer Reading

Encourage reading as much as possible! Maybe choose a book that the whole family will read, and discuss it over dinner. This is both reading skills and family participation!

These are just a few tips to help keep those learning brains smart over the summer! I am sure you can think of many more as well!

 

Ashley Huffman

Recruiter/Trainer – Elizabethtown NBFS

Join us at our Weekly Wraparound – an online Facebook Live foster parent support group.

There are many parenting books for women who are expecting that are filled with tips and strategies for integrating a little newborn into the family and lifestyle. We expect to be up in the night and expect the first year to be filled with exciting milestones and exhausting phases. While there may be some sleep deprived moments when we question our ability to endure the parenting journey, we never really seriously consider giving up.

Bringing a child from foster care into a family will have phases, too. If our expectations are reasonable and we and our family have some advance education and preparation, we can make these phases more comfortable and predictable.

Integration is a little like making a pot of rice. (Hint: It must come to a boil and it takes time.)

Phase 1:  The early phase (some call it honeymoon phase):

In cooking a pot of rice, this is the time where the water and the rice are two separate things dwelling in the same pot. This phase is where children are figuring out how they can still be individuals without completely combining with you. During this phase, children need some items of their own and maybe even some time of their own. They need basic security needs met and some fun activities to begin building attachment. This is the shortest of the phases, usually only a few weeks.

Phase 2: The Acute Phase: In cooking a pot of rice, this is the time when the water comes to a boil and the rice begins to change. This is a very volatile stage. The pot could boil over, if it is not watched carefully. The rice and water are still separate but are beginning to form a whole new entity.

For children in foster care and foster parents, this can be a time when frustration and contention can become really challenging. Just like the pot that could boil over, this is the time when disruption may be considered by the child and the foster parents.

If foster parents know that this phase is a normal part of the fostering integration, they can take actions to support the child and themselves through this time period. Having reasonable expectations, planning for stress management and reducing time commitments, making easy meals, simplifying routines, are essential strategies. This phase can catch us off guard because we think that we should be integrating much faster. Remember, there are no shortcuts. This phase is as necessary for integration as bringing the pot to a boil is for the rice. This phase can last a few weeks to a few months. Don’t give up or panic, it will calm down to a simmer, if we are patient and take the extra time and use stress reducing strategies to get through it. This may be difficult, if we used up most of our time off during the first phase, then we may not have enough for phase 2, when we need it most.

During this phase, you should use as many bonding activities as possible. You need to create and practice bonding experiences. This will not start off comfortable or easy and there will be resistance. Keep trying. Don’t overdo it with complicated or expensive activities. Bonding happens in the quiet everyday life and love of a family, such as, preparing meals, playing games, walking, storytelling, scrapbooking, joking, exercising and doing chores together. (It is o.k. to help a child clean their room, even after they are “old enough” to do it themselves. You will learn many things as you talk and fold clothes together and they won’t need your help forever.) Most of our energy in this phase is spent trying to keep the pot from boiling over or avoiding the temptation of giving up. Seek support and keep hanging on. The next phase will come.

Phase 3: The integration phase: This phase is when we put the lid on the pot and turn it down to simmer. The rice and the water combine to become something completely new and better than they were separately. This is what happens when we welcome children into our family through foster care. Our family and the child become something completely new and better than we were before.

This phase is when normalcy begins to happen. We begin to have new routines and trust begins to form. This phase takes many months to years to establish. (Even longer when children and families are coping with Reactive Attachment Disorder.) Be patient, just like cooking rice, the process is happening, even if we can’t recognize it from minute to minute.

This is the phase where the extended family and community begin to change, too. It becomes apparent that this child is part of our family and our family is a part of the child. Getting through Phase 3 happens over a lifetime. It becomes harder and harder to remember what life was like before the child joined the family. Our family would not be who we are without the addition of the children who have blessed our home. We are so much better than we ever could have become without them.

Teresa Pina

Recruiter/Trainer – Louisville Metro Office

Foster Parent

Join us at our Weekly Wraparound – an online Facebook Live foster parent support group.

Join us at our Weekly Wraparound – an online Facebook Live foster parent support group.

“How do I know I am Ready to be a Foster parent”

This is a question that renders through my mind when I approach the idea of wanting to foster/ adopt. But really how do you know? I have researched and researched on that question and the best answer I got was actually from my own mother and Father, two experienced people who previously fostered.  They broke it down to me so well, that I realized I was actually ready to be a foster parent this whole time.

To be honest there is a lot that goes through your head when you are deciding to join the foster care world. Thousands of questions and unrealistic scenarios play over and over again.  Desperately I came to my parents for the answers. What I got from the conversation was revolutionary to me! And I couldn’t wait to share this knowledge with people who had similar questions like me.  First thing I did was discussed with my family that I am interested in fostering/adopting.  Most people who already have a family with children it’s always best to discuss with one another about it. This will ensure that everyone is comfortable with the new change that may come. Now I’ve learned not everyone will always be supportive of your decision to becoming a foster parent. However, it’s important that your closest supporters understand your decision. When considering to become a foster parent you want to educate yourself through an agency.  A good place to start your information gathering is agency websites, social media pages, open houses, or Schedule a walk through. When agencies do Q&A session or open houses, you want to take full advantage of these type of events. These events will give you the opportunity to potentially see if that is the agency you would like to go through.

Another thing to consider is, understanding the process to becoming a foster parent, and are comfortable with it. When becoming a foster parent it is an intimidating process from fingerprinting, background checks, physicals and home studies. Along with many people will be in an out of your home each month, that’s including counselors, case workers, CASA and many more. This can leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed. But once you become a foster parent, you will understand that each of these people are here to help support you and the foster child in your care.  Understand that the beginning process to becoming a foster parent is to make sure you can provide that child with a safe home and stability, during their temporary time until which they can return home.

Giving a child a loving, stable home is necessary for a safe return, and is key to helping the child grow and heal. Take note that there will be some moments that are difficult and stressful when understanding the child welfare system. It is often difficult to navigate because things are always changing and may so effect the child. By being that child’s care taker you will be their voice; their advocate, you will be the one who will communicate with Case workers, judges, and bio Parents/ Families. To help ensure that the foster child’s needs are being met, communicating effectively is KEY! Know that every child is different and each situation is unique. the best qualities a foster parent can have is

-Patience

-Understanding

– Effective Communication

-Love and Support

-Perseverance

– Understanding of self-care

These are the Qualities a child needs and are looking for, if you have all of these Qualities then you are definitely ready to become a foster parent.

Dashai Thompson

NBFS Recruiter – Richmond and Walton

Join us at our Weekly Wraparound – an online Facebook Live foster parent support group.

Join us at our Weekly Wraparound – an online Facebook Live foster parent support group.

I am the “newbie” in my line of work. This is my first official job in the human services field, and I have chosen to go head first into a “difficult” branch of human services – foster care. Do I work directly with foster children? No, I don’t. But I do see them, I interact with them occasionally, I hear and know their stories. Do I work directly with them? No, but do they impact me? Yes. I know their stories. I know the things that these small humans have gone through, and its heart wrenching. I have compassion, empathy, sympathy, sadness, anger, you name it. I have many feelings towards foster care. I have many feelings towards trauma. So I have a big job, my first job, in the field of human services and the branch of foster care. I have to teach other people who have these feelings, not to allow these feelings to overcome their ability to provide a home for a child with trauma, who will most likely be returned to the people who caused the trauma to begin with.
Fun, right?

You probably think I am crazy, and these people wanting to be foster parents are crazy, and that the time I spend teaching individuals how to deal with trauma, and be a therapeutic home, to give these children a better life, is a waste of time. Or that these individuals who become foster parents are wasting their time, because why would you spend so much time and effort, to try and change a person, then send them right back into the arms of the people who messed them up?

We aren’t crazy.

And you cannot change a person, or what happened to them to cause trauma.

But you can show them what it is like to be loved. To be in a stable home. To feel worth. And that is something that they will take with them. They will learn what love feels like, and they will learn what they are worth, and they will realize that they should not accept anything less than the love they deserve. And that, that one thing, is life changing.
I am not teaching people to fix people. I am teaching people to change lives.

 

Ashley Huffman

Recruiter/Trainer – NBFS Elizabethtown