How to Encourage Your Spouse to Become a Foster Parent, Even If They Are Afraid to Take the Leap 

I’ve heard this statement time and time again: “Eve, I’d love to become a foster parent, but my partner does not approve.” Although I can definitely understand that this can be a sensitive issue that may spark a debate, I don’t believe that all is lost if your partner is less than thrilled about fostering.

Here’s what I know: So many people believe the myths they’ve heard or read about fostering or foster youth, but don’t truly know all of the facts. Giving your partner the facts on fostering, as well as being around happy foster parents, may convince them to try fostering. Here are some key tips to help your spouse become as excited as you are about fostering:

1. Don’t accept your spouse’s “No” response without obtaining more information. Ask them why they don’t want to foster. Is it fear? Lack of time? Worried about being overwhelmed? Asking them specific reasons why they oppose fostering will help you obtain the information you need to educate them about how to overcome that specific challenge.

2. Ask your significant other what would make them more open to fostering. Your partner may be able to state the reasons why they are opposed to fostering, but try to open their minds by asking them a different question. When you ask them what would make them open to fostering, you’ll learn what you’ll need to do to get to a “Yes” answer much faster.

3. Attend foster parent meetings. One of the best ways to get your partner on board to foster, is for them to be around positive foster parents who can talk to them about their experiences. This is key, because it will cause them to start imaging what’s possible as a foster parent. When your spouse hears stories that conflict with their current beliefs about fostering, they will start to question what they believe, and may start to be more open to fostering.

4. Show them positive videos of foster youth or foster families. Visually seeing other families similar to yours who are speaking highly of their foster youth, can help change your spouse’s perspective on fostering, especially if they are fearful of having a new child in the home, or are concerned about challenging behaviors.

5. Attend foster care orientations. Attending orientations is a great way of learning more about the certification process, and what to expect when a new child moves in. This may alleviate some apprehension from your spouse, because they will learn about the process in a more detailed way, and understand that they will receive 24-7 support, and so much more. They can also address their concerns and get the answers they need to move forward in their fostering journey.

6. Sign up to become a respite parent. If your partner is hesitant about fostering due to having a busy schedule, discussing respite care may be a great starting point! With respite care, you are able to care for a child when your schedule permits, and you’ll be able to see if fostering full time is right for you.

If you’d like to learn more, please schedule an appointment when it is convenient for you and your spouse.

Schedule an Appointment


florence-1Eve PowersFoster Care Marketing Specialist
Eve has a strong commitment to helping foster youth and their families thrive and live successful lives. A former foster youth, Eve obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Communications from California State University, San Bernardino, and is a certified Holistic Life Coach, motivational writer, self-help author and celebrity interviewer. Beyond the Trinity Youth Services blog, Eve’s articles can be found in numerous platforms including Foster Focus Magazine, Heart & Soul Magazine, BET Centric and Huffington Post. A passionate advocate for the LGBTQ community, Eve continues to educate, support and mentor foster youth throughout Southern California.

The rise of gun violence across America is causing shockwaves and panic throughout our communities. It seems as if every time we turn on the TV, or turn on the computer, we are seeing more and more headlines about innocent people, including children, being gunned down. These news stories can cause youth to experience sadness, anxiety, grief or depression. Some children may also fear leaving their homes, or fear going to school.

Some youth may even become triggered, especially if they’ve already experienced violence and loss in their homes. Although we cannot control what happens in the world, we do have the power to empower our youth with the skills they need to increase the odds of their safety and well-being. Here are a few ways you can help your youth stay safe.

  1. Have an honest talk about gun violence: For a lot of parents, having discussions about the harsh realities of the world can seem overwhelming. However, not talking about what’s going on in the world, or ignoring it, can actually do more harm than good. Gun violence isn’t going away, and youth are often one of the biggest targets perpetrators look for. Be sure to start an open dialogue about gun violence with your child. Ask them questions about how they are feeling regarding hearing about violence and how it’s affecting them. Ask them what they need to feel safe. To help your child feel safe with expressing their feelings, you may try describing a time in your life when you’ve witnessed or experienced violence, and how you handled it (if it was a positive approach).
  2. Educate Your Youth: Talk to youth about some warning signs to look out for, which can include someone expressing rage in an unhealthy manner, talking about hurting others or getting revenge. Encourage teens to stay away from crime-ridden areas, and to come home at a reasonable hour. Encourage youth to always be aware of their surroundings and pay attention to and report anything that looks suspicious.
  3. Develop a plan of action that include all probable scenarios that could happen, such as a shooting at a school, a park, a mall, etc. Go over the most important actions youth can take to protect themselves. Have them look for places they can go that might be safe if violence strikes. Have them think about the exit points in public places.
  4. Consider Active Shooter Classes: See if your community offers classes to help youth learn the skills they need to keep themselves safe around an active shooter.
  5. Some perpetrators target victims who seem naïve or timid. So have your child practice good body language, and to maintain good eye contact. Encourage them to speak clearly, and with authority, especially in public settings. Taking self-defense classes may help some youth gain more confidence and help them feel more secure in public.
  6. If gun violence is affecting your child’s mental health, and they’ve experienced past trauma, consider signing them up to see a therapist who specializes in trauma. Some youth need to speak with a trusted professional who can help them learn specific coping skills that will help them feel more secure, and to also heal from their past childhood wounds.

florence-1Eve PowersFoster Care Marketing Specialist
Eve has a strong commitment to helping foster youth and their families thrive and live successful lives. A former foster youth, Eve obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Communications from California State University, San Bernardino, and is a certified Holistic Life Coach, motivational writer, self-help author and celebrity interviewer. Beyond the Trinity Youth Services blog, Eve’s articles can be found in numerous platforms including Foster Focus Magazine, Heart & Soul Magazine, BET Centric and Huffington Post. A passionate advocate for the LGBTQ community, Eve continues to educate, support and mentor foster youth throughout Southern California.

A Message from the CEO:

Happy June! Where did the first half of 2022 go? I am finding it hard to believe there are only 206 shopping days until Christmas!

I hope we will all take the time to reflect upon the fathers and father figures in our lives and thoughtfully observe our newest federal holiday, Juneteenth, as these two events both fall on Sunday, June 19.

Last year I shared that Juneteenth is a commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. Although President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, it was not until June 19, 1865 that all slaves were finally freed. Slavery was formally abolished by the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution, which was proclaimed six months later.

Juneteenth is also a time for assessment, self-improvement and planning for the future. Only by truthfully acknowledging a period in our history that brought both shape and shame to our country can we ensure that we will build a better, brighter future for our country, without doing so on the backs of our fellow citizens.

Until children of color are no longer disproportionately represented in the Foster Care system, Trinity Youth Services will continue to advocate for better and more accessible programs, services and resources for those in need, beginning prior to a child being removed from their home.

June is also Pride month and began as a commemoration of the Stonewall Uprising which became a tipping point for the Gay Liberation movement. In the early hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village bar. The raid turned violent and became the catalyst for a series of riots and protests that lasted days, as the Queer community rallied for the right to live and love openly and authentically.

Did you know that from 1947 to 1950, Gays and Lesbians were added to the “blacklists” created by the US State Department? Their names were added to those of suspected anarchists and communists and were deemed “subversive” and “un-American.” Throughout the 50s and 60s, laws were enacted, specifically targeting the queer community, and from 1952 to 1974, homosexuality was listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) as a mental disorder. These, and so many other examples serve as reminders of how humanity has historically tried to demean, disregard and demonize those who do not look, worship or think like the majority.

This June, as we inch toward the longest day of the year and the sun shines brightest, let us bask in the light, knowing that the same sun shines on each of us the same way. Our nation’s newest (and youngest) Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, wrote the following words, which speak loudly to me as I write this, “For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

Have a brave, happy June!


Cher OfstedahlCEO
Cher leads our agency which serves over 200 children and families daily through residential therapeutic services, mental health programs, foster care and adoption services. Cher advocates for children in need after experiencing her own childhood trauma. Her firsthand experience gives her unique insight into our mission to help children and families create a better future. Cher has been with Trinity Youth Services for over 20 years In 2019, Cher completed her master’s degree in ethical leadership from Claremont Lincoln University. Cher currently serves on the Human Relations Committee for the City of Claremont to help oversee their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts, serves on the Policy and Practice Commission for the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), is on the Juvenile Justice Steering Committee for the California Alliance for Children & Families, is a Design Thinking Department Advisor at University of California, Riverside and serves on the board for the Association of Community Human Service Agencies (ACHSA). In 2018, she was recognized by Senator Anthony Portantino as Outstanding Nonprofit Executive Director and, in 2022, Cher was named Woman of Distinction by Assemblymember Chris Holden.

Family Reunification

Family Reunification

For over a decade, the child welfare community has celebrated June as National Reunification Month. The American Bar Association (ABA) Center on Children and the Law and other national partners created the National Reunification Month in 2010, as the most desirable and positive legal permanency option for children. According to recent data, reunifications is the permanency option achieved by most children in the child welfare system.

Reunification month is an incredible opportunity for the child welfare system to commit to resource families and children’s parents working together to provide children and youth with the critical love and support they need. It is an opportunity to use the compassion and skills of resource families across the country to encourage and promote safe reunification, where possible, and to remain engaged with children and parents after reunification to provide ongoing support.

On average, Trinity Youth Services successfully reunifies over 30 families each year. We join with thousands of professionals, foster parents and organizations to promote, celebrate and raise awareness about the importance of family reunification to children in foster care. We recognize the people and efforts around the country that help families to stay together and support the child welfare community:

  • To celebrate the accomplishments of families who have overcome an array of challenges to reunify safely and successfully.
  • To recognize the vital role that community partners – including mental health and substance abuse providers, courts and judges, foster parents and others – play in helping to reunify, strengthen and support families.
  • To inspire other parents – particularly those going through the recovery process – that it is possible to confront and resolve the issues that led to their separation, and to reunify with their children.

All children need the care, love, security and stability of family unity, including parents, siblings, grandparents and other extended family members to provide them with a solid foundation for personal growth, development, maturity and happiness.


John NeiuberPresident of the Board
John is the former CEO of Trinity Youth Services and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from CSUSB. He is a veteran and received the Army Commendation Medal. John was a teacher, union president, assistant principal, principal, and district office administrator in the public schools, and a management and leadership consultant to public agencies and private industry. He is the former CEO of Advanced Education Services, establishing and operating nonpublic and charter schools. John was recognized by the Center for Entrepreneurship as the winner of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016. He is an active volunteer in his community, having served on city and county commissions. He is currently the Chairman of the Children’s Foundation of America and writes a monthly history column for the local newspaper.

butterfly
butterfly
A Message from the CEO:

The concept I associate most with Spring – even late Spring, is, of course, change. In California, we really don’t experience the significant changes in weather other regions enjoy. However, subtle changes are taking place everywhere around us, and even small changes can bring about huge results. Nowhere is this more prevalent than at Trinity Youth Services.

This past month, Trinity team members from every location and every level of the organization collaborated on a new four-year strategic plan that will guide the agency through some very significant changes. I believe the strategic planning process is always a good exercise. It provides the agency with an opportunity to review and reconnect to our mission (what we do), our vision (what we want to be at our best) and our values (what drives us forward, even when the burdens seem to outweigh the benefits).

The team overwhelmingly supported keeping the mission statement intact. We still believe the statement, Helping children and families create a better future, aptly describes what the agency does, at its core. However, our vision statement changed dramatically. In the past, the vision statement reflected a desire to be the first choice for funders and placing agencies, and yes, that is still important, because it signifies those stakeholder groups that keep us in business, financially, have enough confidence in us to invest in our success. However, the team felt it was more important to declare that the agency, at its very best, is what we provide to children and families, how we prepare them for the “better future” our mission statement describes. Our vision statement now reflects our desires:

To cultivate an environment of compassionate quality care.
To plant seeds of hope and resiliency.
To nurture the development of children and families empowered for success.

The primary values of the agency have changed very little. The driving forces of the agency continue to be stated as follows:

We value safety, well-being and permanency for children, youth, and families.
We value embracing research, best practices and proven approaches that help children and youth.
We value employees and will provide them with the knowledge, skills, and tools to be successful.
We value the ability to adapt and change to the needs of those we serve.
We value open, honest, and transparent governance and management practices.

The decision was made to add two additional statements. One that reflects the agency’s commitment to ensuring the children and families we serve receive the highest quality programs and services, without regard for race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability or any other factor, and, as an agency, we will strive to recruit, retain and provide opportunity for promotion to staff that reflect, represent and inspire those we serve.

We value Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in all we do.

The second additional statement declares Trinity’s gratitude for the numerous partnerships that assist us and enable us to fulfill our mission. This includes the board of directors, staff, volunteers, vendors, placing agencies, governing and monitoring entities, donors, and community supporters.

We value the relationships with all stakeholder groups that enable us to do this good work.

I believe the strategic planning team’s changes help to ensure the mission, vision and value statements of Trinity Youth Services accurately represent the intentionality with which we should all strive to approach work that is truly meaningful. Reading these words inspires me and makes me proud to be associated with the agency and with each and every one of our staff.

Caterpillars are always inching their way toward becoming their best and most beautiful selves. At Trinity Youth Services, we should do no less. Wishing everyone a happy May and a wonderful springtime season.

View the full 2022-2026 Strategic Plan published here.


Cher OfstedahlCEO
Cher leads our agency which serves over 200 children and families daily through residential therapeutic services, mental health programs, foster care and adoption services. Cher advocates for children in need after experiencing her own childhood trauma. Her firsthand experience gives her unique insight into our mission to help children and families create a better future. Cher has been with Trinity Youth Services for over 20 years In 2019, Cher completed her master’s degree in ethical leadership from Claremont Lincoln University. Cher currently serves on the Human Relations Committee for the City of Claremont to help oversee their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts, serves on the Policy and Practice Commission for the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), is on the Juvenile Justice Steering Committee for the California Alliance for Children & Families, is a Design Thinking Department Advisor at University of California, Riverside and serves on the board for the Association of Community Human Service Agencies (ACHSA). In 2018, she was recognized by Senator Anthony Portantino as Outstanding Nonprofit Executive Director and, in 2022, Cher was named Woman of Distinction by Assemblymember Chris Holden.

Child Abuse Prevention Month

Child Abuse Prevention Month

Did you know that four children per day die as a result of child abuse, and that 70% are under the age of 4? Child abuse can have devastating effects that last a lifetime, including PTSD, depression, social anxiety, and more. In order to protect your child from being abused, here are a few things you can do to keep your child safe. 

Teach your child appropriate and inappropriate behaviors by role playing and giving them rewards when they can properly identify inappropriate behaviors. 

Tell your child to inform you immediately if they ever feel uncomfortable with someone, even if they are friends or family members. Tell them they won’t get in trouble for telling on an adult, and that you’ll keep them safe. 

Help your child create and keep personal boundaries. Children need to know that they have rights, and that their bodies deserve to be respected. They need to know that it’s ok to decline hugs or touches from anyone.  

Teach your child how to be private. Some children are trusting of everyone and will tell strangers where they live or give out their phone numbers. Let children know who is appropriate to give their personal information to. 

Let children know that child abuse can also happen verbally. Tell your child that name calling and threats, are unacceptable behaviors and to tell you when an adult crosses the line. 

Be aware of your own mental health and that of the people who share a home with your child. If you or someone in your home is stressed or disturbed, seek help immediately and ask a trusted neighbor, friend, or family member to look after your child until it is safe.

Schedule regular talks with your child to check in to see if they have any concerns about how an adult in their life is treating them. 

If you suspect that your child or another child has been abused, call the police or the national child abuse hotline 24/7 at 800-422-4453. 


florence-1Eve PowersFoster Care Marketing Specialist
Eve has a strong commitment to helping foster youth and their families thrive and live successful lives. A former foster youth, Eve obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Communications from California State University, San Bernardino, and is a certified Holistic Life Coach, motivational writer, self-help author and celebrity interviewer. Beyond the Trinity Youth Services blog, Eve’s articles can be found in numerous platforms including Foster Focus Magazine, Heart & Soul Magazine, BET Centric and Huffington Post. A passionate advocate for the LGBTQ community, Eve continues to educate, support and mentor foster youth throughout Southern California.

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