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Foster Care Program Interview with Kerry Boss, Case Manager - Jessica Evans.

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1 Foster Care Program Interview with Kerry Boss, Case Manager - Jessica Evans

2  Catholic Family & Child Service (CFCS), is a non profit organization and is under the umbrella of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Yakima. Along with Catholic Family & Child Service, St. Vincent’s Center and Catholic Charities Housing Services are also under Catholic Charities. Locally, we have two offices; Pasco and Richland. CFCS has 19 program offerings and are offered out of both offices, our teams are also mobile and can meet clients wherever they may feel comfortable (even in their homes).

3  Counseling- CFCS holds one of the Medicaid contracts, along with Nueva Esperanza and Lourdes Counseling. We also offer a private pay counseling program. We offer Counselors, Case Managers, and a Medication Provider. There are also several program offerings under Counseling- housing, Elder assistance, Children’s Crisis Team, and more.  Child Care Resource & Referral – CCR&R program assists Child Care providers with their needs and making sure they have the training they need to make sure the needs of children are being met. CCR&R also assists families in finding child care for their children, close to home, work, wherever they need it. For more information see:  Senior Companion- Senior Companions visit with other elders in their home or assisted living facility spending time with them, going shopping, going to medical appointments, etc.  Volunteer Chore Services- Our VCS program offers volunteer opportunities to anyone needing hours or who would like to volunteer to assist elders in our community. The different services they offer, but are not limited to are: Wheelchair ramps, yard work, and house cleaning.  Family Education & Support – Family ed and support offers classes and support groups to parents and children. Families freely attend to gain insight on parenting skills and others are court ordered to attend.

4  Foster Care- Our Foster Care program consists of a Licensor, Case Manager, Supervisor, and Children’s crisis team. We maintain a CPA license and also have a BRS contract with the state. We provide Case management and provide support to the Social Worker, foster children and our foster parents.  Family Connections Demonstration Project- This is a 3 year Federal grant project. There are three parts to this grant: Kinship Navigator, Family Search & Engagement and assisting with Family Team Decision Making (FTDMs).  Events & Program Support- CFCS is a non profit agency. Most of the programs are sustained off of grants and donations. We receive a large amount of support from our local United Way thru 2 grants and donor designations. Our next fundraiser is our annual Gala Dinner and Auction coming up on May 19, 2012…for more information please see:  Maternity & Parenting Services- There are three services offered through the MPS program. We offer Hope Home, Bonding Right from the Start classes, and also our Outreach Team program. We assist young teens and young parenting moms to succeed with their pregnancy and also as a mom. We have a maternity Boutique where the girls can come and shop for necessities and we also have a grant from a local diaper agency which provides free diapers to our girls.  Independent Living Skills Program- This is a also another Child Welfare program. Also teens in the foster care program (considered a dependency) are referred to this program. They receive services on how to live once they age out of the system. This program recently received an award for their teens and their rate on their children going off to college after high school/GED.

5  “Depends on what happens. You have to be very flexible for this job.”  Kerry Boss is the Case Manager for the Foster Care program under Catholic Family & Child Service. She assists with Placement Coordination and is on the ground as soon as a child is placed into one of our foster homes. She helps to meet the needs of the children in the home and also assists the foster parent with communicating with the Social Worker. She attends court for the children and as a voice for the foster parent. As a Case Manager, the Social Workers rely on Kerry to assist and provide a monthly report to the SW. This helps the SW’s job and eases their mind knowing the children’s immediate, non emergent needs are being met.

6  MOST: Kerry enjoys working with the kids and the foster parents. She likes that every day is different and “nothing is the same.”  LEAST: Kerry wishes that she had more time with the kids. She also does not like the mess of her desk. Kerry explained that she is a very organized person at home and right now we are all very busy and so her desk is in a turmoil.

7  “No wacky foster parents.”  “Telephone coverage can be wearing on you. I can’t really make big plans for my family because I has to be available if needed. I sometimes feel that I have to put my own family second”.  An added benefit to licensing with CFCS is we provide a 24/7 cell phone/emergency contact to our foster parents. This offers assistance to our foster parents in the evenings and on the weekends for any crisis’ that may occur and they are unable to contact the Social worker. This can be hard for the case manager but since our team is so small, everyone has to work together to make sure we have each other's back and needs are met.

8  “Drugs, lack of education, lack of coping skills, poverty, huge mental health issues, and lack of family connectivity. In generations past families have taken care of families and have supported each other and today so many are out on their own.”  A benefit to the FCDP grant which offers Family Search & Engagement means that we have staff who connect with Social Workers to find relatives. There is an average of at least 64 relatives for each person! It is now an automatic referral to the FSE team as soon as a child comes into care so that relative search is being done and can be moved into a relative placement instead of staying in Foster Care.

9  “Mental health, education, and coping skills”  Making these services more available to parents and families can assist with intervention and can help families immediately if children are removed from their home.

10  “Mental Health, Education and coping skills. It is scary what is happening….the more the budget is cut, it will get worse.”  Our state is applying for the IV-E waiver for the state of Washington. This would be a huge perk for all prevention programs and would help to keep services and programs available instead of being cut because of the budget.

11  “Take off your rose colored glasses because it’s going to hurt. Reality versus what you think are two different things.”

12  We are currently in a large recruitment campaign. There is a huge need for foster parents to provide children with a safe and loving home while their parents “get better”. There are so many types of foster homes needed: Short term, respite options, long term, and then foster/adopt homes.  Please see our video that we use with recruitment, it gives you an insight to the difference that foster parents in the lives of foster children. Youtube Video:

13 Catholic Family & Child Service 2139 Van Giesen Richland, WA 99354 Kerry Boss, Case Manager (509) 946-4645 ---For more information on our programs, service offerings, volunteer opportunities, and donations please see or call (509)

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