Second Quarterly Fellowship Convening - March 27-30, Pittsburgh, PA

Foster America held its second quarterly fellowship convening March 27-30 in Pittsburgh, PA. We are especially grateful to Allegheny County Department of Human Services Director Marc Cherna for hosting us, and to all of our guest presenters for sharing their wisdom and expertise with our fellows.

Don Winstead, principal of Winstead Consulting and former leader of the Florida Department of Children and Families, and Joan Smith, Managing Director at Casey Family Programs, led our fellows through a session on child welfare financing. Dr. Walter Smith, leader of the Children, Youth, and Families Division of Allegheny County DHS, shared concrete examples of the County’s innovative approaches to child welfare case practice, including their preventive work in collaboration with the rest of their integrated human services agency. Erin Dalton, leader of the Data, Analysis, Research, and Evaluation Division of Allegheny County DHS, introduced the fellows to the county’s nation-leading approach to predictive analytics and data use. Erica Brown of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation facilitated a blue sky discussion on transforming child welfare. Cara Jones, founder of Marinus Analytics, and her team at the Carnegie Mellon University Auton Lab taught our fellows how big data can be most effectively leveraged for social impact. Allison Wyatt of Edgility Consulting led a session on professional development and career planning. Our fellows also had the opportunity to visit Allegheny County’s award-winning Youth Support Partners program, where systems-involved youth receive the support of professionally trained young adults, who themselves were formerly received child welfare, juvenile justice, or mental health services. Fellows also visited Auberle's 412 Youth Zone, which provides a comprehensive suite of services to youths 16-23 aging out of the foster care system.

We are looking forward to our next quarterly convening in June. Stay tuned for updates!

2016 Year in Review

2016 was a significant year in the growth and evolution of Foster America. What was once the kernel of an idea to bring fresh thinking and new energy to the child welfare system is now being tested for the first time. We are proud to share highlights of what we've accomplished and our goals for what comes next.

To read the full year in review, click on the image box below:

First Quarterly Fellowship Convening - December 7-9, 2016, Cambridge, MA

Foster America's first cohort of fellows will convene in Cambridge, MA on December 7-9 to engage in peer consultations and participate in skills-based workshops.  Missouri child welfare director Tim Decker will deliver a keynote address.   We are grateful to our trainers and facilitators: Katya Fels Smith, Founder and CEO of Full Frame Initiative; Casey Family Programs; Allison Wyatt, Human Capital and Executive Search Partner at Edgility Consulting; Foster Forward; the Government Performance Lab; and McKinsey & Co. Stay tuned for updates!