Our mission is the empowerment of all foster, kinship, and adoptive families, through support that enables happy, healthy children to grow in happy, healthy environments.
There are many children in Southern Nevada who are unable to remain in their homes and they all need a safe and nurturing adult to welcome them into their lives. The foster, kinship, and adoptive families who open their homes and hearts to these children are committed to doing whatever possible to help improve their lives and futures. As the official Foster, Kinship, and Adoptive Family Association of Southern Nevada, we are committed to those families.
Foster Change serves the community in the following ways:
- Providing direct services to members through trainings needed for initial licensing, re-licensing and recertifications and connections to continued education through QPI and community partnerships.
- Providing direct services to members with connections to a like minded community of caregivers by providing our own support groups, connections to other support networks, by hosting regularly scheduled family events, active social media pages and our own private member’s only Facebook community page.
- Providing direct services to members through resources like our respite care program, a helpline that is monitored by email, phone and social media, monthly newsletters, access to a free lending library and to ongoing support offered by our serving board organizations, Foster Kinship, Raise the Future, CASA Las Vegas, Fostering Hope and Foster Connect.
- Supporting ALL families involved in the foster care system by acting as a neutral bridge between the Department of Family Services (DFS) and families to ensure healthy, bidirectional communication on behalf of children and families. Foster Change may also amplify community support for children in Foster Care by acting as a fiscal partner to DFS on specific events (e.g. Back to School; Holiday) and initiatives (funding basic need items) by accepting donations to ensure all children in foster care are served.
- Supporting ALL families involved in the foster care system through Foster Change’s initiative One Team One Dream, which connects the professionals in all willing and local child serving agencies, organizations and ministries, with the governing belief that stronger partnerships will provide better outcomes for children experiencing care.
Foster Change, a 501c3, was founded in 2016 by directors of local 501c3 organizations who were already providing support to foster, kinship, and adoptive families to provide a unified voice in partnership with the Clark County Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) under DFS.
Today, the Board of Directors consists of representation from Foster Kinship, Foster Connect, CASA Las Vegas, Raise the Future and Fostering Hope.
Foster Change from Black Raven Films on Vimeo.
Cindy Tarrant, Program Manager: Cindy and her family moved into Las Vegas in 2013. Soon after settling in, Cindy began seeking out connections into the local foster and adoptive community, in order to serve in a supportive role. Cindy’s family first became licensed to provide foster care in 2009. Since then, they have gone through the licensing process four times, in three different counties and in two different states, both in traditional foster care licensing and, also, kinship care licensing.
After experiencing a heartbreaking season of foster care in 2012, Cindy’s entire focus and passion were changed. During this time, their family was negatively affected by an under-resourced professional community and also by the absence of other foster families to journey with. Cindy believes that if they been provided with access to the support and resources needed, then their experience would have been dramatically different and has since made it her mission to do whatever she can to step in and fill that gap for other families.
Board of Directors
Ali Caliendo, PhD- President: Dr. Caliendo is a tireless advocate for children and families, focusing on kinship, foster and adoptive families. She launched, funded and currently serves as the Executive Director of Foster Kinship, a 501c3 non-profit organization devoted to the support of kinship families in the state of Nevada. Dr. Caliendo focuses her academic work on policy implications for children in nonparental care in the United States. She is also a former foster/current adoptive parent and advocate for children with FASD.
Megan Dobrinski- Treasurer (Foster Connect): Megan Dobrinski is a Las Vegas Foster Parent and Director of Foster Connect. She is the bookkeeper for YWAM and also runs Hannah’s Closet North.
Jessica Roe- Director (Raise the Future): Jessica has served as the Nevada Director of Programs at Raise the Future since 2018. Over her 11 years of service, she has worked as a Case Manager at a Higher Level of Care foster agency as well as a system-leader in evidence-based interventions, program development and implementation. Now, she is responsible for leading, and executing all aspects of Raise the Future’s program services in Nevada. She believes in bringing evidence-based programs to Nevada, adoptive families, and youth so they are able to thrive and reach their highest potential. She resides in Las Vegas with her husband and their two children.
Carly Souza- Secretary (Fostering Hope): Carly Souza was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She worked in management and new hire training at a Fortune 100 company for seven years before embarking on the exciting adventure of being at stay at home mom. Carly and her husband, John, have been foster and adoptive parents since 2008. Together they have seven children, five of which they adopted through the foster care system. Carly is the Director of Fostering Hope which she founded in 2011 out of personal need to walk through life in relationship with other foster families. She also runs Hannah’s Closet South.
Vickie Wilson- Director (CASA): Vickie has experience in both the nonprofit and public sector in volunteer recruitment with great success in growing volunteer workforce capacities. As a Senior Volunteer Manager with American Red Cross, Senior Recruitment Specialist for Department of Family Services and now, as a Volunteer Coordinator with the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program, Vickie has several years of experience designing growth strategies with measurable success.
The National Foster Parent Association, whose mission is to be a respected national voice for Foster, Kinship and Adoptive Parents through networking, education and advocacy, can be visited at https://nfpaonline.org.