Support Services

Educational Advocacy

Our Educational Advocates work with the child’s Educational Decision Maker to determine and secure appropriate school placement, obtain educational evaluations, ensure implementation of special education services, and protect student’s rights during suspensions. Additionally, our Educational Advocacy program strives to provide children with educational stability and personal growth while helping our caregivers become more astute advocates for their children.

Contacts:

Trish Taddeucci, Director of Educational Advocacy – 800.FOSTER.3 (314.367.8373)
Kami Narayan, Educational Advocate -800.FOSTER.3 (314.367.8373)
Valerie Njiiri, Educational Advocate -800.FOSTER.3 (314.367.8373)

Helpful Links

Financial Resources for College, Education, and Training For Foster & Adoptive Youth and Foster Care Alumni

Family Works

Stressed? Need Help?

When a crisis erupts, get help 24/7 with our FREE crisis intervention services for families in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County. Trained staff are available 24/7 to help. Our program, Family Works, is available now for you!

For 24/7 immediate assistance, call 314.367.8373 (800.FOSTER.3).

You Are Eligible If You Are:

  • residing in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, or St. Charles County with a child placed through foster care (no private guardianships/adoptions)
  • with children age 3-19 years old
  • in crisis, faced with an immediate safety risk, or concerned for risk of out of home placement for the child.

Services made possible thanks to the St. Louis Mental Health Board (St. Louis City), Children’s Service Fund (St. Louis County), and Community and Children’s Resource Board (St. Charles County).

Contacts

Anne Zink – Director of Family Support
1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e annezink@foster-adopt.org

Erica R. Brooks – Family Works Specialist       
o 314.367.8373
e ericabrooks@foster-adopt.org

Colleen Larson – Family Works Specialist
o 314.367.8373
e colleenlarson@foster-adopt.org

Family Works STEPS

Family Works STEPS specialists help streamline what is often an overwhelming process. In five easy steps, Specialists will help foster kids who have experienced complex trauma.

Contacts

Karen Martin – Family Works STEPS Specialist
1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e karenmartin@foster-adopt.org

Support Groups

Parent & Older Youth Support Groups

Any parent will tell you that foster care and adoption takes more than love, it takes skill, too! We offer a variety of skills-building support groups, free for parents and older youth. They are held at the Foster & Adoption Care Coalition office (1750 S. Brentwood Blvd., Ste. 210, St. Louis, MO 63144). You must register to attend by contacting Nickie Steinhoff at 800.FOSTER.3 (314.367.8373) x2235.

Foster/Adopt Parent Training

Licensed foster parents are required to complete 30 hours of in-service training per licensure period (every two years). The Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition hosts a number of parent workshops. These workshops will allow you to:

  • Connect with other parents to share resources
  • Learn how a child’s prior experiences can impact their behaviors
  • Explore ways to enhance your strengths as a parent
  • Share and learn new skills to influence your child’s behaviors and attitudes
  • Discover ways to reduce the stress of parenting

What Parents Have Said:

“Going through this [workshop] has really helped me to realize that the strong behaviors [my adopted son] had were not his fault, but also that they were not my fault!”

“It gives the opportunity for….real change and healing for the kids.”

Therapy Clinic

Cornerstones of Care and the Coalition have teamed up to provide therapy to address the unique needs of foster & adoptive families. As Kansas City’s leading name in trauma-informed therapy, Cornerstones of Care is uniquely qualified to serve local children impacted by foster care. St. Louis families can now receive this high quality of service right here at the Coalition office in Brentwood. ​

Foster/adoptive families often face unique challenges due to emotional, mental and/or physical trauma experienced by children in their care. The majority of families receive excellent support from existing programs and partnerships in the St. Louis community.

A small percentage of families need additional, more intensive services. The Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition will identify these families and connect them to Cornerstones of Care for outpatient counseling. Cornerstones of Care’s therapists are highly trained in the areas of trauma, attachment, and adoption. The Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition will augment the counseling with training and in-home services for the families.

For more information about our partner agency visit cornerstonesofcare.org​, or call 314-881-0350.

Contact

Dr. Lanette R. Madison, LCSW, DSW, MSW
Regional Director of Programs & Services Cornerstones of Care
lanette.madison@cornerstonesofcare.org

Little Wishes

About Little Wishes

Little Wishes allow children in foster care to have childhood experiences they may not otherwise be able to enjoy. Funds are often not available for the “extras” that make childhood special, such as summer camp, lessons, sports teams, graduation expenses, a room makeover and fun days with siblings and friends.

Little Wishes Requirements

Please consider the following criteria BEFORE completing and submitting a Little Wishes Referral Form.

Eligibility

  • Child must be at least 5 years old
  • Child must currently be in foster care
  • One wish per year, per child

A Little Wish must

  • Help the child develop or enhance a skill (for example: dance lessons, bicycle, basketball hoop).
  • Help the child sustain the bond between biological siblings living in separate foster homes (for example: sibling visit to Chuck E. Cheese or Dave and Busters).
  • Provide the child with an opportunity to attend a St. Louis attraction or event, a camp or trip (for example: Cardinals game, summer camp, senior trip).
  • Allow the child to gather with family and friends to celebrate a special day (for example: a special birthday party, prom expenses, graduation fees).
  • Help cultivate the child’s sense of belonging in his/her foster home (for example: a room makeover).
  • Dollar limit $200 out of pocket per wish. (Referring source should use discretion on any wishes that may exceed this amount. Referring source should not share dollar amount with child).

Other Requirements

  • Foster family/case workers/adoption recruiter/CASA/GAL are responsible for identifying and securing transportation necessary for fulfillment of wish
  • Area limited to greater metro St. Louis area – Travel outside this area off limits
  • Camps determined on case-by-case basis
  • Time frame for wishes should be reasonable and finite (8 weeks of classes, not one year)
  • No toys
  • No video games
  • No pets
  • No gun training, paint ball lessons, fencing, shooting or weaponry of any kind
  • No clothing wishes fulfilled unless supported by experience or self-esteem context

Protocol for change of wish

Any time a wish needs to be changed, a new application nulls and voids the previous submission. Referring source can withdraw a wish at any time. Wish fulfillment is first-come, first-served and Little Wishes will make every attempt to fulfill them in a timely manner.  Some wishes may be fulfilled first if there is a seasonal deadline (for example: Cardinals games, Six Flags visit, etc.)

Little Wishes Referrals

Please fill this form out completely to request a Little Wish. Be sure to click “Submit” when you are finished. Children currently in foster care, ages 5 and older are eligible to receive one wish per year.

Submitting a request does NOT guarantee fulfillment of the request. Little Wishes are granted ONLY when donations are received from the community, generally within 30-45 days of the request. You will be notified once the funds are available and the request is able to be fulfilled.

The Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition does not make reimbursements to individuals. All checks will be made payable directly to the vendor.

By submitting this referral and providing your electronic signature, you indicate that you agree to the terms and conditions of the Little Wishes program.

Little Wishes referrals are closed for the Holiday Wishes Program, but will be available after the holidays. 

Birthday Buddies

Do you know a foster child who is likely to receive nothing or almost nothing for his/her birthday? The Coalition has a resource that can help – the Birthday Buddy program!

Through this program, generous individuals in the St. Louis community offer to become a Birthday Buddy and purchase birthday gifts for a child in foster care.  Foster parents/case managers must complete a Birthday Buddy application, providing the Coalition with general information about the child and birthday present ideas, which will be posted on our website. If a child is matched with a donating Birthday Buddy, the foster parent/case manager must pick up the birthday presents at our Birthday Buddy Co-Coordinator’s home in Kirkwood, Missouri or Bethalto, Illinois.

For a foster parent/case manager to enroll his/her foster child in the “Birthday Buddy” program:

  1. The foster parent/case manager must complete and submit the application below.
  2. The child MUST currently be in foster care (not adopted or guardianship).
  3. The foster child must be likely to receive nothing or almost nothing for his/her birthday.
  4. Applications must be submitted at lease one month prior to the child’s birthday.
  5. Applications must be submitted no more than four months before the child’s birthday.

Birthday Buddy Referral Form (Click to Expand)





Your Information

Name (Required)

Relationship to Child (Required)

Email (Required)

Cell Phone

Home Phone

Work Phone

Address (Required)

City (Required)

State (Required)

Zip (Required)

Caseworker Information

Caseworker Name (Required)

Caseworker Phone Number (Required)

Foster Child's Information

Child First Name Only (Required)

Child Date of Birth (Required)

Age of Child on his/her Birthday (Required)

Is the Child a Male or Female?

Is this child likely to receive little or nothing for his or her birthday? (Required)
YesNo

How long has this child been in foster care? (Required)

Birthday Information

What would the child like for their birthday? Please be specific. Items must be valued at $25 or less. If clothing, please specify size. (Required)

Describe the child's personality, talents and interests. Give specific examples and detail (Required):

Release Form

Do you agree to pick up the gifts in Kirkwood, MO or Bethalto, IL within 7 days of being notified? (Required)
YesNo

By completing and signing this application, I hereby request to enroll the foster child in my physical custody in the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition’s Birthday Buddy program. 1. I understand there is no guarantee that my foster child will be matched with a Birthday Buddy. I understand that I will be contacted if the child is matched; 2. I understand that the Birthday Buddy program is completely dependent on the generosity and responsibility of others. I understand that even if my foster child is matched with a Birthday Buddy, circumstances beyond the Coalition’s control may prevent my foster child from receiving presents through the Birthday Buddy program. 3. If my foster child is matched with a Birthday Buddy, I agree to pick up the donated birthday presents in a timely fashion. I understand that I must pick up these birthday presents at one of the Birthday Buddy Coordinators’ homes in Kirkwood, Missouri or Bethalto, Illinois. 4. I promise to inform the Coalition if the foster child is removed from my physical custody before his / her birthday. 5. I promise that we will write a thank you note to the Birthday Buddy within 14 days of receiving the birthday present. I will send the thank you note to the Birthday Buddy Coordinator, to be forwarded to the Birthday Buddy. 6. I attest that the information in this Birthday Buddy application is true to the best of my knowledge and belief.

By typing your full name below, you electronically acknowledge reading and understanding the above information. You state that all of the information you provided is true.

ReFresh & ReSource

ReFresh

ReFresh is a Fashion Forward Resale Boutique with great clothes and accessories for everyone, from designer items to vintage finds.

Youth in foster care can receive a 90% discount on clothing and accessories at ReFresh. Foster/Adoptive/Kinship families can receive a 30% discount on items at ReFresh.

ReSource

ReSource offers free clothing for kids ages 0-12. This store is reserved for foster/adoptive families.

Hours: Wednesdays from 9am-1pm and Saturdays from 10am-1pm.

Location: It is located at 1750 S. Brentwood Blvd, Suite 130.

Please come with confirmation of your status as a foster/adoptive parent.

Contact Katie Mohr, Director of ReSource, at 314.304.3906 or katiemohr@foster-adopt.org for questions.

Visit our Facebook page for more information.

High School Senior Pictures

A few photographers have offered to take senior pictures for high school senior students who are currently in foster care. The photographers will provide a free 60 minute photo shoot and free digital images (on CD or over the internet, depending on photographer preference). Foster parents and case managers of high school seniors in foster care can get contact information for these photographers by filling out the information below.

By completing and signing this application, I hereby request information about photographers who will provide a free 60 minute photo shoot as well as free digital images from that shoot to youth in foster care who are seniors in high school.

(1) I understand the photographers are not employed by the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition. I understand that the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition is completely dependent on the generosity and responsibility of these photographers and that the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition does not guarantee these complimentary photographic services.
(2) I understand that these photographers are typically paid for their photographic services and that they may have more than one photo shoot booked each day. If I make an appointment with one of these photographers, I agree to ensure that the youth will arrive on time for the appointment.
(3) If an appointment must be cancelled, I agree to inform the photographer at least one week in advance.
(4) I understand that this is a free service being provided, and that the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition cannot make any guarantee that the youth, foster parent and/or case manager will be satisfied with the quality of the photographs taken.
(5) I understand that the photographer is providing a complimentary 60 minute photo shoot and that the photographs will be shared with the youth digitally (via the internet or on CD – whichever the photographer prefers). I promise not to ask for additional free services or products from the photographer.

By typing your full name and initials below, you electronically acknowledge reading, understanding, and agreeing to the above information. You state that all of the information you provided is true.

Student must be a high school senior in foster care.