Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May Training

Be sure to come to our May Training this Thursday, May 5th @ 630-830pm. Lyn Tanner will be presenting on Fetal Alcohol.
RSVP to northstarcluster@yahoo.com if you would like to attend!

Monday, March 21, 2011

No Trainings For April

We decided not to have any trainings for the month of April. It gets crazy with Spring Break and the sports season starting. If you need your training hours, be sure to check out the Foster Roster for other cluster sponsored trainings this month.
We'll see you in May!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Nominate your Foster Dad!

Do you know a special foster Dad that needs some recognition? We all do! I think every foster Dad out there deserves to be recognized for all they do for our kids. Right now through March 31st you can nominate your special Dad to win the Utah Foster Care Foundation's Foster Dad of the Year ! The winners will be recognized at the Chalk Art Festival held in Salt Lake City. It's a really fun event and a great place for the special Dad in your life to receive an amazing award!
Click here to go nominate him today!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Training on Thursday!

Don't forget that we have a great training coming up this Thursday, Those That Have Been There!
We have a panel of three former foster children who are excited to answer your questions and share their insight!

Pre-Register to northstarcluster@yahoo.com  and let us know how many will be attending!

See you there!

Family Support and Treatment Center

The following email was sent to us from Jessica at the Utah Foster Care Foundation. If you have any questions, please let us know!

Dear Foster and Adoptive Parents

Family Support & Treatment Center in Orem has enjoyed a long standing relationship with foster and adoptive parents for more than twenty years. We appreciate the privilege of contracting with DCFS on several levels, some of which include being able to provide therapeutic and respite services to foster and adoptive parents and their children. We support and agree with the Division’s focus on including parents in their children’s therapy.

In our efforts to solidify these long standing relationships we have found it essential to maintain an open dialogue with DCFS caseworkers and fost/adopt parents in order to secure the quality of care provided by FSTC through these contracts. Over the past few months our Director, Joy O’Banion, and I, Stuart Harper, have met with and talked to DCFS employees to assess these relationships as well as our provision of services to DCFS clients, including yourselves and your children.  

In doing so, it has come to our attention that there are some current misperceptions and mis-associations regarding the services that FSTC is able to, and capable of, providing. We have received feedback that appears to associate the therapy arm of FSTC with only providing individual play therapy for sex abuse victims, and not being able to provide any attachment/family/post adoption/relationship therapy. FSTC appears to no longer be synonymous with relationship work, despite our constant ability to provide such. While play therapy for sex abuse victims is an area in which we have extensive experience, it is by no means the only therapy we provide. Our clinical staff has just as much ability to provide many forms of attachment/family/post adoptive/relationship therapy. We are aware of and able to utilize the “Beyond Consequences” principles in formatting the approach to treatment. We are certainly willing to make any kind of attachment work the focus of treatment if this is what you want your clients to experience. All we ask is for you to express this need when requesting services.

In addition to this misperception, we have heard concerns about how long our waiting list may be. We want you to know that any referral received from DCFS caseworkers receives scheduling priority before any other clients on the waiting list. This is per contract requirement. Furthermore, recognizing the financial strains of the current economy, it is no more expensive for DCFS to refer a client to FSTC than to any other contracted service provider. We are also able to accept Carve-Out clients.

FSTC welcomes any questions, comments or feedback from any foster and adoptive parents that would help to make us a better service provider. Anyone is welcome to email me at sharper@utahvalleyfamilysupport.org or to call me at 801-229-1181. FSTC looks forward to our continued relationship with foster and adoptive parents and the joint effort to provide health and wellness for the children and families of our region. We would also like to make ourselves available for any of your cluster meetings to provide any in-service that may be of benefit to you.  

Stuart Harper, LCSW, RPT-S
Clinical Coordinator                    

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Did you know?

Did you know about possible scholarships for youth in foster care?
Go check out this site. Just For Youth  !

The deadline for Fall 2011 is April 15th, so hurry and look into this if you have a teen who will be starting school in the fall!

Olene S. Walker Transition to Adult Living Scholarship

You can get up to $5,000 per year for college tuition, books, fees, supplies and living expenses.
Besides scholarship money, you’ll get to participate in extracurricular activities and work with a mentor who will help you succeed.

Who is Eligible

Youth who were in Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) foster care after age 14 or adopted after age 16, may be eligible.
Fall semester 2011 scholarship deadline is April 15th, 2011.
**Click here for information and to download an application

Number of Scholarships Available

University of Utah
Salt Lake Community College: 20
Utah Valley University: 10
Weber State University: 5 full time scholarships or part time equivalents
Ogden Weber ATC (OWATC): 5 full time scholarships or part time equivalents
College of Eastern Utah (CEU): 5 full time scholarships or part time equivalents
Southern Utah University (SUU): 5 full time scholarships or part time equivalents

Need Help?

Contact Patti VanWagoner at 801-652-2173 PWESTERN@utah.gov
or Jode Littlepage at 1-888-459-6884

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Foster care providing better life for Utah kids - ksl.com

Foster care providing better life for Utah kids - ksl.com

Did you see this on KSL? We love to see positive things coming from foster care!
And, yes! That is our very own Nancy Z! Attend her trainings, she is amazing!!

Friday, February 11, 2011


We hope that last night's training was great for everyone who attended!

Our next training will be on March 10th! It's going to be a great training about children who have been through the foster care system and their experiences before, during, and after foster care.There will be a panel of teens who are graciously sharing their experiences with us!
It will be another great training!

Remember to RSVP to northstarcluster@yahoo.com

Also,  if there is a training that you would like to see our cluster sponsor, please let us know!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Training Tonight!

Don't forget about the HOPE training tonight!
You won't want to miss this training!
See you there!

Friday, January 21, 2011


We should probably introduce ourselves to you, if you don't know us already.  We are Shanna Patterson and Amanda Nicholas, Co-Facilitators of the North Star Cluster, which serves foster families in Lehi, Cedar Hills, and Alpine. 
We have been friends for eons.
Shanna was asked to facilitate the cluster and she asked me, Amanda, to help her with it. Seeing as how we did *almost* everything together, I said yes. It has been a good experience and has enabled both of us to meet some really wonderful people.

I'll give you a little run down on our families and why we started this little bloggy.

My name is Amanda. I am the proud momma of five stinkles, all of whom we adopted from foster care. I've been married to my best friend for almost 11 years. We started this foster care rodeo about 3 1/2 years ago. It has completely changed our lives and how we view a lot of things.I like being with my whanau, reading mommy blogs, listening to country music very loud, much to the dismay of all the *men* in my household, and love being able to laugh with all my girls.

I'll tell you a little bit about Shanna while I wait patiently for her to tell you about her family. :)
Shanna has been married to Verle for, um, a while. :) 8 years? She has adopted two children from foster care (biological siblings to three of my kidlets) and just had a beautiful baby boy. She has been part of foster care for about 3 1/2 years also. 

  We started this blog in hopes to connect with more of our foster families that we serve. We hope it can be a fun, helpful place and occasionally provide a good idea or two. :) 

If you have any suggestions, questions, or comments, please let us know!