As we’ve been celebrating the history of the Coalition, I’ve found myself reflecting on my own path here. I first came to the organization—then called Adoption Resources of Wisconsin—in 2005 to head up a special project: the Foster Care and Adoption Resource Center. As we started, we met with a great deal of resistance from the foster care licensing social workers, one of the main stakeholders of the project. Undeterred, our project team moved ahead. By the end of the first year, we had visited all 72 Wisconsin counties and most of the tribal and private agency teams across the state.
As the years passed, our staff at the Coalition became known and trusted among those same social workers. They came to see us—and still do see us—as an extension of their teams, supporting them in the work they are trying to do recruiting and retaining resource families for children and youth coming into foster care.
On June 30, the Foster Care and Adoption Resource Center was folded into a larger project called the Wisconsin Family Connections Center. This new project requires the Coalition to provide many of the same services and resources. However, as with any change, there are losses that can be challenging or disappointing to some; you’ll see more about this in the story we’ve included in this edition of our Backer Bulletin. In the 18 years since I joined the Coalition, helped get the Foster Care and Adoption Resource Center up and running, and led our team through many changes and opportunities, there is something that stands out. What started as an uphill battle—specifically with the foster care licensing social workers—evolved into a relationship built on trust and mutual support, a relationship that those essential workers have come to depend on.
Regardless of name changes and adjustments to state funding requirements, the Coalition team is known to and trusted by those who rely on us, in large part because of donors and supporters. Without funding support from people like you, outside of our state contracts, we would not be able to give our best and continue to serve. Thank you for your unwavering dedication to our mission. And thank you for being a vital extension of the support services we provide to champions near and far.
Chief Executive Officer