This week we want to highlight our newest City Ministries CPA staff member: Natasha. She joined our team as a case manager in May and has been working hard providing our foster families and children with incredible case management, advocacy, and support. She has a big heart, a passion for working with families and children, and a fun, upbeat personality. She brings joy to all the families she works with and we are thankful to have her on our team!
Here is our “Getting Acquainted” Q & R
Can you please give us a little background of your educational history and what brought you to work at City Ministries CPA?
I received my master’s degree at Arizona State University in Marriage and Family Therapy. I stepped away from this career field after I moved back to Washington however, I have always had a passion for working with families. My mother who is Facebook friends with our executive director saw a post on Facebook for a case manager position. When this job opportunity arrived, I knew it was God’s way of telling me I am to work with children and families and I needed to leave my current job at the time.
Can you please explain your role as a case manager?
As a case manager I am the liaison between the foster families and the state department. I support the families in any way possible which includes setting them up with daycare, sending in clothing voucher referrals, and connecting them to other resources they may need. I also work closely with the state social worker in scheduling health and safety visits, supervising visits with biological family members, and attending court dates for foster families.
How has your experience been working with foster children, foster families, and the agency?
I always enjoy working with children and families. It is a pleasure to see how children and foster families grow as various children come into care. I appreciate the love and support these foster families provide to children who may have not had that prior to coming into care. I feel so blessed to be working at this agency. I know my team has my back and is willing to support me in any way possible. This is not just an agency, we are a family.
What do you enjoy most about being a case manager?
I love seeing the bond families create with the children, and watching children build trust with families.
What can be challenging in your work as a case manager?
The most challenging part is trying help foster families understand how complex and unpredictable each case may be. Every child’s case will be different, and there will be various factors that contribute to the overall outcome of the case.
What are a few things you have witnessed during your time working here that have touched your heart or stood out to you?
Once a biological parents’ rights are terminated or relinquished, it is not easy for the biological parents to have a positive relationship with the adoptive/foster family. One of the most touching things I have witnessed, was a biological parent acknowledging and respecting an adoptive parent as the primary parent. This biological parent could have responded negatively to the child calling the adoptive parent the primary parent but, she did not. I have also had the opportunity to witness adoptive parents going out of their way to make sure the child has a strong bond with the biological parents.
What would you tell families that are considering being licensed as a foster family?
I would tell them to really think about if they are ready to take on this responsibility, and how this would affect their family. Many people become foster families because they have a heart to open their homes to provide children in need with the love, care, and support which is great. However, many people forget that the children coming into their home had a completely different life, and they may take a while to adjust to their new surrounding and that the adjustment period will be different for each child.
We are thankful for Natasha and the incredible work she does to support our foster families and children. Please join us all in welcoming her to our team!