Jessica is passionate about interacting with families, and Josh believes that the choices we make can change the path of a child in foster care—children who deserve love and stability in their tomorrow, and who need advocates today.
On this final day of National Foster Care Month, meet two more staff on WACAP’s US Kids team and find out what motivates the work they do all year.
Meet Jessica Burkholder, US Kids Licensor
Why I’m Passionate About Helping Families:
I work with families that are hoping to adopt a child from foster care, and it’s my job to support them through the process of getting their foster care license. I’m here to help them understand the importance of the trainings the process requires, talk about home safety and answer their questions.
My work is about helping prepare families to bring a child into their home … so that they can become the family and support that child needs.
That’s why I’m most passionate about interacting with the families and children I get to connect with through my work, and letting them know I care about them and about their success.
I care about being able to make a difference in their experience, and I’m glad that I can be there for families when they need it, and that I can be support in their journey to becoming the foster/adoptive parents for a child that needs them.
What I Want Others To Know About Foster Care and Adoption:
I really want people to know how many children and youth are without homes, or growing up without caring and loving families. I want to encourage them to spread this awareness to people that don’t know the great need these children have for a family.
I want people to know that these kids just need to be loved and cared for so they can grow up and live the best life they can.
A Quote That Inspires Me:
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Meet Josh Bennett, US Kids Case Manager
Being There for Families, Especially When It’s Stressful
I work with families that are interested in adopting a child, helping them through the foster care/adoption process, sharing resources, and working with them as they build the skillsets that help them feel more prepared. I’m also an advocate for the children in foster care and for their needs.
Interacting families throughout my week, I see firsthand the challenges of the process, paperwork, and the wait.
My job helps alleviate some of the stress that arises during the course of a child’s case, by attending meetings, coordinating services and processing situations with and for the family … and ultimately, for the child who needs them.
A Passage I’m Inspired By
“… Is it not to share your bread with the hungry / and bring the homeless poor into your house …” Isaiah 58:7
What I Want Others to Know About Foster Care and Adoption
While foster care and adoption are technically two different things, they are closely related, and both have the common denominator of being there for a child however long they need you. It is about providing a child with at least one place in their life where they can have stability and support, when the other areas are unstable or falling apart.
The Choices We Can Make
One of my college professors drilled into me the importance of not being quick to judge people for the choices that they make; and the importance of trying to understand the circumstances and rationale for why they are where they are, or the reason they do what they do.
I like to think about choices in context of this quote: “Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story” – Josh Shipp
WACAP helps find homes for children in state foster care.