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Fostering Conversations

Author: Seraaj Family Homes, Inc.

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Fostering Conversations is a podcast produced by Seraaj Family Homes, Inc., a national therapeutic foster care agency established in 1984.
15 Episodes
A member of our Continuous Quality Improvement team at Seraaj Family Homes, Inc. spoke with us about all things disruptions: what are disruptions in foster care, what causes disruptions in a foster home, what are some of the effects of disruptions on youth in foster care, how can we better avoid situations that lead to disruptions, and more.
Brenda McCoy, a licensed social worker for Seraaj Family Homes, Inc.'s Maryland region, speaks to us about the types of corporal punishment, why it's detrimental, and how she helps incoming foster parents understand the difference between punishment and discipline during their training. 
Brenda McCoy is a licensed social worker for Seraaj Family Homes, Inc. and a certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) instructor. In this episode, she talks about techniques we all can use to decrease and observe our stress levels daily, how stress can affect us, and she discusses more about the MBSR program that was developed by Jon Kabat Zinn. 
Our Jr. Content Creator Shay Stinson talked with Alexis Bell, the founder & CEO of Camp Remain LLC and Black Kings & Queens, Inc. in Mobile, Ala., about his mentorship program for young men. They discuss the importance of having a mentor while growing up, the difference it made in Bell's life by having had a mentor and now being a mentor, and how others can help through programs like this or through fostering.
Meet Brenda Cope. She's a foster parent with Seraaj Family Homes, Inc. in Union Springs, Ala. with her husband Fred Cope. She'll be 70 years old in July 2021 and plans to continue fostering for as long as she can. She and Fred are currently fostering a nearly 13-year-old boy with medical complexities and plan to foster him until they can no longer. He's kept them young and healthy and loving life. Listen to their story.
Mittie Smith is a foster parent with her husband Fred Smith in Union Springs, Alabama. They're in the process of adopting their infant foster son. Mittie was also adopted and says she has a similar story as her foster son. Listen to learn more about their family and their journey together so far.
Stephanie Byrd is a "foster care alum." She tells the story of how she was left at her birth hospital, adopted, then rescued by the state from an unhealthy adoption placement, and subsequently "aged forward" from the foster care system. Based on her experiences, she talks to her friend and interviewer Shay Stinson about her vision for foster care reform, including what proper trauma-informed care looks like. Byrd is a wife, mother of five, and active foster care advocate. 
Let's Talk is a virtual youth group geared towards youth in foster care to speak about a myriad of topics in a safe space. The group was founded by and is hosted by college friends Marini Woodland and Tim Davis. Davis is a certified life coach and serves a variety of clients. Woodland is a licensed social worker and the Chief Administrator and Clinical Director for Seraaj Family Homes, Inc. In creating this group, Woodland did have hopes of better understanding youth in foster care through the open space this group provides. Together these two are holding space for youth around the country to open up and express themselves about any- and everything. Email to sign your youth up for Let's Talk.
Iman Seraaj is the founder of Full Circle Doula Services, a service providing expecting mothers will various forms of support and pre-natal and post-natal health care. Seraaj is an artist and full-spectrum doula offering services such as birth advocacy, pregnancy massages, belly casting, and more. She's also the Corporate Liason for Seraaj Family Homes, Inc. In this episode, she tells us about what being a doula entails, how she could be of service to teen moms in foster care, and her experiences as a doula. 
This episode, we interviewed Debra Heining, one of our foster and adoptive parents from Oxford, Alabama, and her adopted daughter Alanna about their story. Alanna is a beauty pageant queen who uses her platform to champion foster care and adoption awareness. 
Princess Anderson is a former foster child who was placed in Seraaj Family Homes, Inc. Now, she's joining the company as a family support worker to give back to youth in foster care. She shares her story of how she came to be in foster care and how she stayed in contact with the cofounders of the agency who were also her foster parents. 
For this week's episode of Fostering Conversations, since it's still National Adoption Month, we interviewed our foster parent Natalie Hatcher from Mobile, Alabama. She adopted three children and says she has room for more. 
November is National Adoption Month! This episode, we're covering a somber adoption story about two of our former foster parents Angelika Carter and Nannie Crozier from Gadsden, Alabama. We interviewed Crozier about her fostering experience and her friendship with Carter, who was a two-time adoptive mother of two daughters. Carter and one of her daughters passed away in late 2018. Here's their story.
Lorene Harper has been a foster and adoptive parent with Seraaj Family Homes, Inc. since 1998. She and her two adopted children talk about their family's journey together. Harper speaks about the key to fostering is showing kids patience and love. She admits her foster kids teach her as much as she teaches them. 
Rose Chaney is a foster parent with Seraaj Family Homes, Inc. in Oxford, Alabama. She's fostered with the agency for several years now, but in July 2020 she finalized the adoption for her son "Z." Here's their story.
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