National Adoption Day

 
2015_05_CrosswhitePhotoShoot-2964
2015_05_CrosswhitePhotoShoot-2964

National Adoption Day falls on November 21, and is a national effort to raise awareness of the over 100,000 children waiting in foster care for their forever families to find them. The day is sponsored by four wonderful organizations: Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, The Alliance for Children’s Rights, and Children’s Action Network. Since its inception in 2000, National Adoption Day has helped nearly 54,500 children find their forever families. LSG specializes in finding homes for special needs children, which means children that can be more difficult to place due to age, being part of a sibling group, or having a disability. We believe every child is adoptable and every child is special, and work with some incredible families and children. In recognition of this day, Shamae Crosswhite has shared her family's story, below.

First and foremost, I would like to thank the staff at Lutheran Services of Georgia for helping us find our missing pieces through adoption. My husband and I were trying to start our family the natural way, but unfortunately we did not have success. Adoption was always an option for us, so we decided moved the timetable up.

My husband and I started the adoption process in December 2013. I will never forget the day I went to our local DFACS office for an informational session. We arrived on time and were very anxious to learn more about the adoption process. The first words out of the case manager’s mouth were “we are not accepting applications for adoption at this time.” Once I heard those words, I don’t remember hearing anything else that was mentioned--my heart was broken. I remember walking out of the office crying, leaving my husband behind to speak with the case manager. He came out the office, hugged me tight and told me everything will work out. He said that the case manager gave him a phone number to an agency that handles adoption. That agency was Lutheran Services of Georgia.

I knew I didn’t want to give up, so I called the number the very next day. We were scheduled for the next available informational session which was only two days away. Once we attended the informational session at LSG, we knew this was the place for us; it just felt right. That night, we decided that we definitely wanted to move forward with the process and potentially have a sibling group.

2015_05_CrosswhitePhotoShoot-2858
2015_05_CrosswhitePhotoShoot-2858

In January 2014, we completed all the paperwork to attend the classes. We ended up completing our final classes in June. And in July, LSG conducted our home study. By September 2014, we were approved by the state and LSG to be matched with a child. I remember attending an adoption quarterly meeting and someone mentioned creating an adoption flyer that we could send to the other case managers and people we knew for potential matches. With the exception of our parents, we did not want to tell our family or friends that we were going through the process.

Well, after attending the quarterly meeting we realized that we should tell more people as we felt the meeting encouraged us to share our story. Once we made that decision, I emailed everyone in my contact list the flyer. Low and behold, a friend of ours knew a case manager and she forwarded the email to her. Would you believe that is how we find out about two beautiful kids? We ended up receiving a phone call from Ms. Terrell about the possible match and I cried. There were so many additional personal issues we were also dealing with during this time, but this news restored me. I believed, no, I knew this was God’s doing. He waited for the perfect time to provide us with two children who needed us just as much as we needed them.

They sent the file over for us to read. Just reading their story, word after word, we knew they were for us. I remember attending the meeting to sign papers to move forward with the match. We signed the papers and then I asked, “Can I see a picture of them?” I didn’t have to see a picture to know they were my babies; a 5 year old girl and 8 year old boy. We met them for the very first time on December 5, 2014. I will never forget that visit. I wanted to take them home and keep them safe because they were MY children! They are the most affectionate children I know. They were officially placed with us on January 12, 2014. And after numerous home visits, we finalized the adoption July 7, 2015.

I will never say this process was easy, but it wasn’t a huge battle. To those contemplating adoption, I leave you with this advice: First, be patient. Everything happens in due time.  Second, share the process with family and friends because you never know who they know or how they can help. Third, love all the kids with an unequivocal, unconditional love no matter their situation. Fourth, utilize Lutheran Services of Georgia at all avenues. They have a plethora of information. Last but not least, keep the faith.

 

Celebrate National Adoption Month with LSG Rome!

national adoption month November is National Adoption Month! National Adoption Month is recognized each year to raise awareness of adoption throughout the country, to challenge myths about adoption, and to celebrate the love and support that is shared between adoptive families and their children.

This year, through our Specialized Foster Care program in Rome, we have matched many exceptional children with their forever families, who have opened their homes and welcomed them as their own. We think this incredible gift is something to celebrate!

We will be hosting an adoption appreciation pizza party to celebrate all of the life-changing connections that have been made between adoptive families and their children. We are so grateful for each family that has chosen to partner with us to start or expand their families, and we invite them to join us in celebration this Saturday:

LSG Adoption Appreciation Party Date: Saturday, November 7th Time: 11:30am-2:30pm Place: Mellow Mushroom              238 Broad St, Rome, GA 30161

The party is sure to be lots of fun, and a great way for children to socialize and make new friends, so please don’t miss it! We will have lots of fun activities for the kids and plenty of pizza and snacks for everyone. We encourage parents to bring their entire families so that they can get to know other families like theirs, and share stories and support with one another.

We know that the adoption process can be long, and that it is not always easy; however, to parents who have completed the process and gotten to welcome their child or children home, we say this: you did it! You not only changed the life of a child who longed for love and support, but you navigated a complicated process and came out on the other end as a stronger family with a wonderful addition.

We are so grateful for your partnership and the incredible gift that you have given, so please join us in celebrating your family!

Matthew's Story

Fc5101 boy with disability for foster care

By Tracie Ball, Senior Program Manager of Specialized Foster Care in Rome

In January 2012, when Matthew was only four years old, he entered Lutheran Services of Georgia's Specialized Foster Care program in Rome. Matthew was diagnosed with a disability, non-verbal, and still in diapers. He also had never been enrolled in school.

After Rome case managers placed Matthew in a LSG foster home, he was immediately enrolled in school. With lots of time and attention from his new foster family, Matthew began speaking and was fully potty trained by the time he was adopted by his forever family in December of 2013.

Matthew is a joyful little boy, and it has been exciting for us to watch his progress. Matthew's foster mother is still in contact with his adoptive mother, who sends pictures of Matthew often. Matthew is thriving in his new adoptive home and has even started talking in full sentences.

LSG is continually recruiting individuals and couples to open their homes up to children in foster care. For more information about foster care or becoming a foster parent with LSG, click here.

 

Anthony's Big Family

Family3 By Micah Bennett Johnson, LSG Case Manager in Rome

Anthony* came to Lutheran Services of Georgia's Specialized Foster Care program as a medically fragile teen. He was falling behind in school and had a known history of behavioral issues. Prior to being placed in foster care, Anthony lived with a caregiver whose old age and personal health issues prevented her from being able to fully provide for Anthony's medical needs.

The Harmon* family welcomed Anthony into their home. With help from LSG's supportive services, they were prepared to work with Anthony to address his behavioral issues and traumatic history. After over two months of support from the Harmon family and LSG's services to address medical and mental health needs, Anthony was progressing medically but still displayed behaviors that his foster family found challenging.

Although the Harmon family cared for Anthony, they realized that their home was not the best fit for Anthony. Anthony had developed close relationships with his foster parents and their extended family, particularly with his foster mother's parents. His foster family and their extended family wanted to support Anthony and to maintain as much continuity in his school, church, mental health and medical providers, caregivers, and friends as possible. LSG identified the foster mother's parents as potential matching family for Anthony. With Anthony's blessing, LSG and Anthony's health providers being working together to move the foster mother's parents through the training and home approval process as quickly as possible.

When Anthony realized that LSG and his foster family were working to support a positive transition for him, his behaviors and disposition improved. Anthony felt that he mattered to this big family, and that they cared enough about him to make sure he was in the best place. The foster family's sensitivity, understanding, and compassion inspired them to think outside the box in order to meet Anthony's needs for stability, permanency, and well-being. As for Anthony, he demonstrates the resilience and hope that so many of us working in the field see in the vulnerable children with whom we work. Anthony is a reminder that, above all, these kids want to be wanted, to be loved, to belong.

For more information about foster care or becoming a foster parent with LSG, click here.

*Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.

 

 

LSG to Host Orientation for Short-Term Foster Care for Unaccompanied Children

uac featured image Lutheran Services of Georgia (LSG) will host an orientation at the Mike Daniels Recreation Center (LaGrange) on Monday, May 11, 2015 at 6 p.m. for individuals interested in providing short-term foster homes for Unaccompanied Children. The Mike Daniels Recreation Center is located at 1220 Lafayette Parkway, LaGrange, Georgia 30241.

LSG is collaborating with LaGrange area organizations and ministries to create safe, welcoming foster homes for children under the age of 13 who have migrated unaccompanied to the United States. LSG is seeking families in the LaGrange area to foster unaccompanied children for short-term periods until they are united with a family member or approved sponsor in the United States.

Prospective foster families must undergo a three-stage approval process involving orientation, training, and a thorough family assessment. The approval process takes three to four months to complete. Families with one bilingual adult are preferred.

Lutheran Services of Georgia invites interested parties to attend this informational meeting for more information on foster care as a compassionate and necessary response to the crisis of unaccompanied children. To register for the upcoming orientation and for further details, contact Gayle Cruz at gcruz@lsga.org. Click here for more information about unaccompanied children.

Helping Mamas Supports Children in Foster Care

IMG_20141223_113021875_HDR On December 23, 2014, local nonprofit organization Helping Mamas delivered two SUVs-full of diapers and gifts for 23 of LSG's youngest children in foster care.

Karen Cramer and Jamie Lackey, two moms who were also social workers, started Helping Mamas in 2014 to help other moms "have it all". Helping Mamas partners with other organizations, including LSG, to support families and connect helping mamas with mamas needing help. Karen and Jamie generously dropped off the diapers gifts at LSG's Atlanta office, where they met several LSG staff members.

LSG thanks Helping Mamas for joining us to support children in foster care and their foster homes this holiday season.

Alie Advocates for Child Welfare in D.C.!

Alie Redd at the Capitol On May 6-8, LSG’s Vice President of Programs Alie Redd, LCSW, participated in the Child Welfare League of America’s 2014 National Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C. Below, Alie shares her experience advocating for the nation’s vulnerable children.

I was invited by Together Georgia to participate in the Child Welfare League of America’s 2014 National Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC, on May 6 through 8. The summit addressed child welfare issues and helped organizations and individuals understand how to advocate on the Hill for child welfare reform. I, along with two colleagues fromCHRIS Kids, visited Congressmen John Lewis, Thomas Price, M.D., John Barrow, and Johnny Isakson’s offices and met with their staff to advocate for children in Georgia specifically about privatization of child welfare, mental health, and adoption. The summit taught attendees how to prepare specific talking points to address Congress and how to approach these influential people and decision makers with confidence.  This was particularly powerful because most people think Congressmen are unreachable or unapproachable. However, I found congressional staff to be welcoming and open to input and suggestions from their constituents.

At the summit, I learned how to advocate on a national level for vulnerable people who do not have a voice and for those who may no have the means to advocate for themselves or their loved ones. At first I was really nervous because I wasn’t sure what to say, but the summit taught me how to organize my thoughts. Then, all the voices of the children I have served throughout the years began to tell their stories through my voice. I was so proud to represent the vulnerable children of Georgia. Once I returned to Georgia, I shared with others how easy it is to make sure voices are heard in Congress. I also participated in a Lunch and Learn workshop to teach others at LSG how to ensure their voices are heard and how to advocate for those in need.

For more information about the Child Welfare League of America, click here.

LSG Nurse Helps Clients Reach Healthy Tomorrows

When Cathy Dandelakis’ son entered the FACES program, little did she know that this was only the beginning of her involvement with Lutheran Services of Georgia. LSG’s FACES program places individuals with developmental disabilities in supportive host homes where they can thrive.

Cathy holds 37 years of knowledge and experience serving medically-fragile populations as a mother, a teacher, a nurse, and a caregiver. Her passion for caregiving began while in nursing school. During the summer, she worked the night shift on a cancer ward as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN). Along with caring for the physical needs of her patients, she provided emotional support and companionship for patients in their final moments. “I worked with people who were sleepless, who were sad, who were angry, who were lonely, and many would pass away with no family in the middle of the night,” she recalled. Cathy’s presence reminded them that they were not alone. There, on the cancer ward, she discovered that nursing was more than a career for her—it was her calling.

After Cathy’s son entered FACES, LSG asked Cathy to help train the support companions who would become her son’s primary caregivers. Cathy agreed and was of such tremendous help to FACES staff and volunteers that LSG asked Cathy to provide training for other host homes. She began writing protocol for FACES case managers, sharing best practices for working with medically-fragile people.

In January 2013, Cathy agreed to join the LSG staff. Her current role includes handling administrative work connected with LSG’s medically-fragile clients, visiting host homes, writing healthcare protocol, and training LSG staff and caregivers. Cathy is always on-call to provide respite assistance or guidance for caregivers and case managers. “As a mother of a very handicapped person,” she remarked, “I know the value of respite. Everyone needs respite, and more than once a year. They need it frequently to replenish themselves, to replenish their souls.”

Cathy’s passion and expertise are immensely beneficial for LSG staff and clients. Cathy used her familiarity with the medical world to advocate on behalf of Matthew*, a nine-year-old boy in LSG’s specialized foster care program. Matthew has SMA Type 1, a rare disease that kills most infants born with it within their first two years of life. Given Matthew’s extreme fragility, the Georgia Department of Family and Child Services expressed concern about his care. Cathy visited Matthew’s foster family and nurse, and then reported back to DFCS that Matthew was indeed receiving great care. Now, Cathy visits the family every few months to check in on their needs. Thanks to the collaboration of Cathy, the foster family, and Matthew’s nurses, Matthew has not been hospitalized for over six years, a truly remarkable accomplishment.

LSG thanks Cathy for using her knowledge, skills, and love of caregiving to help provide excellent care and bring healthy tomorrows to individuals and families throughout Georgia.

*Name has been changed to protect the client.

Taylor Brand Made Vice Chair of Foster Family-Based Treatment Association--Georgia!

Lutheran Services of Georgia congratulates Taylor Brand, LSG's Senior Program Manager for Specialized Foster Care and Family Intervention Services in Atlanta, on being selected as the 2014 Vice Chair of the Foster Family-Based Treatment Association (FFTA)'s Georgia Chapter! Taylor will serve as the Vice Chair to Chair Sally Buchanan, CEO of Creative Community Services, Inc.

FFTA is an association of organizations that provide treatment foster care, a unique model of care that combines a nurturing family environment with structured treatment. FFTA aims to strengthen agencies that support families caring for vulnerable children.

Taylor said, "I'm excited to be the Vice Chair of FFTA. I've worked in and around foster care for many years and have seen first-hand the benefits of treatment foster care. This is a great opportunity to sit at the table each month with Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) leadership and advocate for children and families. FFTA is recognized nationally, so I will be in a position to advocate for children in foster care on a national and state level."

Taylor is not the first LSG staff member to serve in a leadership role with FFTA's Georgia Chapter. Alie Redd, LSG's State Manager for Specialized Foster Care, Family Intervention Services, and Adoption previously served as the Co-Chair of FFTA. Alie said, "I am excited to present and pass the torch for 2014 Vice Chair to Taylor. Her voice, expertise, and advocacy for children and families will ring throughout both the state of Georgia and the nation."

Congratulations, Taylor!

To learn more about FFTA, click here.

 

 

 

Prevent Child Abuse Georgia Relaunches Statewide 1-800-CHILDREN Helpline

Prevent Child Abuse Georgia recently announced the return of 1-800-CHILDREN, its free referral line for Georgians concerned about the healthy development of children and the prevention of child abuse. The 1-800-CHILDREN Helpline is professionally staffed by operators from Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia and will operate Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Unlike the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) statewide centralized intake number, the Helpline is not a number to call in crisis or when making a report of child abuse or neglect (Click here to learn how to report child abuse or neglect). Rather, operators will be available to provide information regarding parenting support, community resources, counseling services, referrals for legal needs, concern about the well-being of a child or family member, family violence, and other child maltreatment prevention issues.

PCA Georgia is a state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America. The organization provides statewide direction to prevent child abuse and neglect, promote healthy children, and develop strong families through its prevention network, public awareness, prevention programs, and advocacy.

Click here to find out more about 1-800-CHILDREN and PCA Georgia.

Recognizing our Foster Parents!

In honor of May being National Foster Care Month, Lutheran Services of Georgia (LSG) would like to recognize the compassionate people who make a difference in children’s lives by serving as foster parents, advocates, social workers and volunteers. This month and throughout the year, LSG works in conjunction with these generous individuals to find and support loving foster homes for children in Georgia. LSG provides specialized foster care services to healthy infants and children who are medically fragile, children with autism and other developmental delays, large sibling groups, and teenagers with behavioral and mental health challenges. In order to give these children and youth the support that they need, we rely on the dedication of foster parents and other caregivers. “Our foster parents are committed and compassionate people with a heart for children,” says Taylor Brand, Program Manager for Foster Care. “They are highly trained and heavily supported by an amazing team of social workers. From our longtime foster parents to those newly recruited, we are grateful to have them on our team providing a home and a family for Georgia’s most vulnerable population.”

“Foster parents are the heart of our department,” adds Latrice Stowe, Clinical Supervisor for Foster Care. “Without loving and committed foster parents we would not be able to do the work that we do. Foster parents play such a vital role in the lives of those children who come into the foster care system with an array of problems associated with child abuse and/or neglect. Foster parents nurture, love, and take the time and dedication to meet the basic needs of care for the children placed in their home.”

On June 8, LSG will be hosting a cookout to celebrate the contributions of these wonderful foster parents. If you would like to join us in thanking them by contributing a gift, you can send checks or gift cards to:

Lutheran Services of Georgia 100 Edgewood Ave. NE, Suite 1800 Atlanta, GA 30303

LSG thanks all its amazing foster parents and the people who support them and our foster care program in other ways!

Here Comes Santa Claus! Foster Care and FACES Holiday Party

Amid the sweet smells of honey buttered rolls and roasted chicken, the children, participants and families crowded in for a celebration of family, friends, and the holiday season. After greetings were passed, and everyone was all full and fed (the excessive amount of bread pudding was to blame) Old Saint Nick came frolicking in sporting that ever-so-famous white beard and bright-red attire. The children and FACES participants, after tugging on his beard to confirm its “realness,” eagerly awaited their chance to tell him their holiday wishes. After many hugs, jolly laughs, and adorable photographs, everyone settled down for the next activity—the gift raffle. From Museum vouchers to Six Flags tickets, and all the prizes in between, everyone went home a winner! Thanks to our enthusiastic winners, laughter filled the room as those energetic parents entertained the entire party with celebratory dancing! The rest of the night went about in the same lively manner. All in all, due to a great turnout, bountiful amounts of delicious food, and many laughs, the night was a huge success! Thank you to all the volunteers, donors, and families in attendance for another wonderful Christmas Party!

A special thanks to the following organizations/people for their contributions and donations: 1. Six Flags Over Georgia 2. Imagine It! Children’s Museum 3. Alliance Theatre at the Woodruff 4. Center for Puppetry Arts 5. Zoo Atlanta 6. Golden Corral (Jonesboro) 7. Joe Menchoffer (Santa) 8. Women of the ELCA Magi Cluster and friends 9. Sisters of the Good Shepherd Circle of Lutheran Church of the Redeemer

Chad Steinborn is the marketing coordinator for Lutheran Services of Georgia

Welcome to the Team!

Along with the move to the new location in the precedent months, we, here in Family Intervention Services and Foster Care, have also acquired some invaluable new team members, with a variety of personalities and backgrounds, to help us advance the program and settle into the new place. To get to know the rookies a little more, here is a brief summary of their background and path that led them to join LSG. Welcome to the Team!

FOSTER CARE: LSG Celebrates National Foster Care Month!

In honor of May being National Foster Care Month, Lutheran Services of Georgia (LSG) would like to recognize the compassionate people who make a difference in children’s lives by serving as foster parents, advocates, social workers and volunteers. This month and throughout the year, LSG works in conjunction with these generous individuals to find and support loving foster homes for children in Georgia.

LSG provides foster care services for children who have been placed in the custody of the Division of Family and Children Services for protection from abuse or neglect, as well as for children committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice for delinquency.

According to Katherine McKenzie, senior program manager in LSG’s Savannah office, foster parents provide for the safety and wellbeing of the child while the birth family completes tasks necessary for their return home. The LSG foster parents bring the children into their homes, their lives and their hearts.

“If there is not a foster home available in a foster child’s home county, he or she often must be moved away,” McKenzie said. “In addition to being to separation from his or her birth family, this move further disrupts a child's life by forcing them to change schools and leave a familiar place. Moving the child out of county can also result in fewer visits with family members if the family doesn’t have the means to travel independently.”

Along with foster care services, LSG also works to reunify birth parents with their children in foster care whenever possible through Family Intervention Services (FIS), which offers programs such as parenting classes, supervised visitation, counseling and transportation.

May is a time to celebrate the important role that foster parents play in nurturing and caring for Coastal Georgia’s children. We appreciate all you do!

FOSTER CARE: Epiphany Lutheran Donates Outfits and Goodies for Easter Morning!

Epiphany Lutheran Church in Conyers made Easter Sunday a little brighter for Lutheran Services of Georgia’s foster care children by generously providing them with outfits, shoes, stuffed animals, and candies for Easter Sunday. These gifts brought smiles to the faces of 30 of our foster care children, ranging from infants to teenagers, not to mention those of the foster care parents that got to share in their joy. Thank you, Epiphany, for this incredible Easter blessing!

Happy World Social Work Day and Social Worker Appreciation Month!

The month of March is National Social Work month, and this year’s theme is Social Work Matters.  Some social work matters include but are not limited to: adolescent development, aging and family caregiving, poverty reduction, non-profit management, and community development. Social Workers care for people in every stage of life, from childhood to late life, by helping families and individuals overcome life’s most difficult challenges. Some of the troubles that Social Workers work to alleviate include: poverty, stress, discrimination, addiction, abuse, depression, physical illness, unemployment, underemployment, divorce, disability, death, medical conditions, intellectual challenges, and mental illness. Social Workers help ensure the personal well-being of their clients; they prevent crises and counsel individuals and families, as well as make sure people get the help they need from the best resources available. For more than 100 years, Social Workers have been catering to the needs of lower-income families and individuals.

LSG is active in providing superior services in each of the areas listed above, and we would like to recognize all of our exceptional Social Workers at the agency. To celebrate the hard work of these Social Workers at LSG, Foster Care and Family Intervention Services recognizes National Social Work month and invites everyone to make a Social Worker at every level feel appreciated on March 20, 2012, World Social Work Day.

Foster Care Welcomes New Staff

Foster Care is pleased that La Shondra Randolph has stepped in as a temporary case manager while Lauren Lewin is on maternity leave. La Shondra has a Bachelor’s Degree from Alabama A&M Universityin Psychology with a concentration in Human Development and Family Studies, and has previously worked for the Fulton County Department of Family & Children Services in the Special Investigations Department. Rose Edward, our new recruiter, originally from theVirgin Islands, obtained her Bachelor’s in Social work from Buffalo State College and Master’s in the same area from the University of Buffalo, New York. Before working for Fulton County Department of Family & Children Services for five years as a Social Service Specialist, Rose spent four years atAnchorHospitalas a Social Worker.

Kenya Williams, Foster Care’s new Case Manager, has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Florida A&M.Kenyaspent the last four years at Dekalb County Department of Family and Children Services.Kenyais originally fromSyracuse,New York.

Foster Care: Mark Your Calendars for LSG's Annual Holiday Party

Signs of winter’s approach are all around, which can only mean one thing – it’s that time of year again! On December 10, 2011, LSG’S FACES and Foster Care departments are hosting an annual Holiday Party for all clients and families, hosted at The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer inAtlanta. The party is a time to celebrate a wonderful year with the caregivers and participants of Community and Placement Services here at LSG. There will be all sorts of fun activities at the holiday party like face painting, a table for making holiday cards, and door prizes. There’s a rumor that Santa may make an appearance… LSG is continuing its tradition of participating in the Angel Tree program in which churches or individuals gift children and families items according to the family’s requests for the holidays. We look forward to seeing the smiles on all of our family’s faces and can’t wait to see everyone and have a wonderful time.

Foster Care appreciates each donated gift, and welcomes all donations of food, baked goods, monetary gifts, door prizes and toys for the purpose of the party. If you wish to contribute call Taylor Brand at 404-591-7035 or send an email to tbrand@lsga.org.

Foster Care: LSG Bids Farewell to 10-Year Employee

Foster Care case manager Kim Welsh begins new career as a nurse, but won't forget her coworkers or clients A bittersweet farewell is in order as Lutheran Services of Georgia’s Specialized Foster Care Program says goodbye to Kimberley Welsh, who has served as a case worker with LSG for almost 10 years. Kim has been involved in social services for more than 15 years, working with the homeless, medically fragile and teenage mothers, to name a few. Starting in New York City, Kim came to Lutheran Services in March of 2002 after working for the Department of Family and Children Services

Kim attributes her dedication to social work to the children she has encountered over the years. One story in particular that will forever remain in her memory is the story of a brother and sister. Since leaving foster care, the sister has had the opportunity to study abroad and will be finishing college soon, while her brother, who is mentally challenged, is doing well in a home for adult care.

“You hardly get to see the results of the work you put in so it was nice to find out they are one of those success stories you dream about as a young social worker,” Kim says.

It was not an easy thing for Kim to learn, but her tenure here at LSG has taught her that as much as you want to help someone, there is only so much you can do to impact the lives of others.

As a person who prides herself on being passionate about seeing results with her clients, Kim plans to remain faithful to serving others – except now it will be done in a different form. As she changes careers to become a Registered Nurse atPiedmontHospital, Kim plans to keep a close relationship with LSG and share her medical expertise. Kim will miss the close-knit family that exists at LSG and the fun times she has had, but will miss her clients and foster parents most of all.

Kim hopes to leave behind a legacy of her motivation and wishes everyone at LSG many more great years of success. On behalf of Specialized Foster Care, we congratulate Kim on her new journey.

Farewell, Kimberley Welsh!