Sandy, Shaquilla and Alaijha
Sandy has been a Wesley Family Services resource parent for eight years and has had 25 placements.
Sandy has been a Wesley Family Services resource parent for eight years. She has had 25 placements over the years, several of which were children who left her home and later asked to return. While Sandy will foster younger children, she is known for her love of helping teens grow toward independence. A visit to her home on any given day would reveal teens cooking meals, filling out job applications, and doing homework. Sandy has advocated for educational services to help her foster son succeed in school. She was a strong advocate for getting another youth in her home involved in therapy and participated in the therapy when it was requested she be there.
When two of the youth who had left her home were coming back into care, Sandy was adamant that they be placed with her, as she had maintained contact with them during the interim. She is a strong advocate on behalf of her children that they be given space to be able to make an informed decision about their needs regarding their permanency plans. Knowing what it takes to be independent in the city, Sandy also advocated that the youth’s own WS workers challenge them to learn and utilize the bus routes so that they could take care of some of their own needs.
Sandy has an amazing understanding of our youth, and works daily to stretch their capabilities while providing them with support. In 2016, Sandy was granted Permanent Legal Custody for Shaquilla and Alaijha, who are now permanent members of Sandy’s family.
About Wesley Family Services Foster Care
Wesley Family Services has founding roots in CATY Services (Center for the Assessment and Treatment of Youth – founded in 1975) and APA (Alternative Program Associates – founded in 1978), who merged to form Spectrum Family Network in 2000. Spectrum Family Network than merged with the Wesley Institute (founded in 1965) in January 2006 to form Wesley Family Services. Since its inception, Wesley Family Services has provided foster care services to county children and youth in Western Pennsylvania. The foster care services have expanded from traditional foster care services to include kinship, medically needy, pre-adoptive and (CRR) Community Residential Rehabilitation Treatment foster care services.
Wesley Family Services has served over 289 children since 2010. The program is child centered. A result of child centered decision making, has been our support of adoption by program foster families. Annually WS averages 10 foster adoptions. Additionally, our program strives to serve sibling groups; avoids sibling disruptions. Annually, WS foster care census is comprised of at least 50% of the children being a member of a sibling group. An area that we serve and wish to grow is foster care for older youth. The older youth we have been able to serve have accomplished high school graduation and enrollment in post secondary education programs. An instrumental part of our success is the program foster families. Our foster care coordinators work closely with our foster families to provide case management responsibilities and to provide support and education to our foster families. The cooperative teamwork between the foster families and foster care coordinators are a true testament of the program successes.
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