Solutions For Youth

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rbstaffSocial Workers’ Testimonies

I had never done anything like this before and it opened up my eyes to foster care and being able to see families reunite is heartwarming. I also love helping kids and I love the success stories. – Christy Todd  Visitation Specialist

Part of what I really enjoy about my position at Children First as a Social Worker is I get to work closely with so many wonderful and committed foster parents. Being a supportive resource for them while they do this much needed and important work with the kids is highly rewarding. – Caitlin Pickens MSW

I was a Child Protection social worker for approximately thirteen years when I retired from Santa Cruz County and moved to Siskiyou County. After six months of not working with children and families I realized I missed the connection to my professional life. That is when I was fortunate to find a job with the Children First Foster Family Agency.
I am passionate about protecting children because most often they cannot protect themselves.  I believe that every child deserves a loving, safe home in order to develop into the best person that they can be. If a child cannot stay with their biological family, then I am passionate to try and help them receive the best treatment and experience in their foster home environment. – Gloria Endres, MSW

I get the pleasure of working with families and children and being an advocate for them. – Brianna McGuire MSW

My joy at Children First is seeing the growth families make together during reunification and the devotion and difference a foster parent makes in a child’s life – Awesome! – Dee McQuade Visitation Specialist

My passion and energy for working with others, especially children and families, is most eloquently expressed in the words of George Washington Carver … “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.” – Delrae Hansen-Stayer LMFT, ITFC Program Director

yrkstaffWhen I initially decided to go into the field of social work, I was coming out of a long standing career of teaching and working with children and families in an educational setting.  While teaching I came into contact with children and families that had interaction with the child welfare system. When I had the opportunity to change careers in 2005, I determined that the practice of social work was a good fit for me and allowed me to utilize my strengths in a field where there are amazing opportunities to help and support people in need in my community. I initially started with Child Protective Services (CPS) in Siskiyou County and moved to Children First Foster Family Agency (CFFFA) in April 2013. Since coming onboard, I feel like I have found a place within the system where I can help make a difference in the lives of children and families. I am grateful to be a part of this amazing team! – Shannon Pierce MS Psy Siskiyou Regional Director

I became a social worker because I wanted to change lives for the better. Today I am doing just that. What’s most exciting is I get to participate in the stories of the children and foster parents in our agency. I get to help bring about positive change and be of support in times of struggle. I have been with Children First since 2006 and during this time I have been encouraged and guided to grow as a social worker, to expand my skill and knowledge of the helping field.              Barbara MSW

Growing up in San Jose, California, my parents were county foster parents and cared for numerous foster children, eventually adopting my youngest brother at the age of 3 (Now 21 years old.)  I wanted to be in the social work field because it provides the capacity for me to be a part of helping facilitate positive change and growth in foster families, foster children and birth families.  Being a social worker for CFFFA is very challenging and rewarding at the same time. –Vincent Sanchez MSW

I have been a social worker at Children First FFA since 2007. Before that I was an intern at Children First through my bachelors program. I remember when I started I did not know anything about the foster care system. Through my internship, and an amazing supervisor and co-workers, I realized that Children First was an agency I wanted to work for. I love the way that the social workers are able to work with foster families, to support them on their journey as they take in foster children. We are involved from the moment the children are placed, until they are reunified with biological parents, or even sometimes adopted. We are there with these amazing, strong, loving and giving families through all of the laughs, tears, moments of anguish, and through all of the lives that are changed through foster care. I have been blessed to work with foster parents that do not give up, that fight for the children when nobody else will, that love the children like their own, and that support biological families, and continue to have relationships with the children after reunification. I am rewarded by getting to work with awesome children, but even more so by the amazing people that care for these children 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. – Janice Saelee MSW