Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tennessee association hosts "Moving Forward: Building Something Great Together"

by Becky Rogers

“Moving Forward:  Building Something Great Together” was the theme for the Tennessee Foster Adoptive Care Association, Inc. annual statewide conference held on September 22-23, 2012 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in conjunction with the Department of Children’s Services.

With 950 people in attendance, the conference began an opening session with a MTSU ROTC color guard presentation, national anthem led by Rachel Sullivan and prayer by Jack Coleman, TFACA Regional Director. A welcome was given by John Johnson, Director of Foster Care and Adoptions, who introduced our DCS Commissioner Kathryn O’Day. Commissioner O’Day spoke to TFACA about her five-point mission around partnership.

Seventy-five workshops were offered, giving resource parents the opportunity to get 13 of the required 15 hours of annual training in one weekend. The workshops ranged from "Approved: Now What"  to "Bullying at School and Online." This was a wonderful way to get the resource parent training while enjoying themselves, making new friends, learning about resources and support systems.

The silent auction, which was chaired by Peggy Carroll, TFACA TN Advocate and Loraine Copeland, TFACA Regional Director, raised almost $5,000 for the TFACA Ken and Maxine Fox Annual Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund awards annual college scholarships to foster, adopted or biological children of TFACA members.

The Sunday morning devotional program started the day off with a wonderful service and musical entertainment. Following the workshops was the closing luncheon. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt from New York, our keynote speaker, described resource parents as "finders of lost children."

Cindy Galewski, TFACA TN Advocate, spoke about the Walk Me Home program informing resource parents about the two successful walks we have already had this year in Nashville and Memphis.

TFACA Ken and Maxine Fox Scholarship awards were given out by Myra Cooper and Tammy Beaty, TFACA board members, to five lucky recipients.

Awards were also given for:

  • Regional Administrator of the Year – Sandi Holder 
  • FSP Worker of the Year – Jennifer Shepherd 
  • Resource Family of the Year – Chris and Denene Goodyear 
  • Local Association of the Year – McMinn County Foster Adoptive Care Association
  • Presidential Award – Tammy Beaty, TFACA Treasurer 

Door prizes were given out and the conference wrapped up with everyone knowing, in Tennessee, that DCS and TFACA really are “Moving Forward: Building Something Great Together” in partnership.

Becky Rogers (right) with DCS employees

Keynote speaker Dr. Alfonso Wyatt

Sitting at the head table are Craig Thompson (TFACA regional director Northeast); Myra Cooper (TFACA regional director Mid Cumberland); Cindy Galewski (TFACA TN Advocate Northwest); John Johnson (DCS Director of Foster Care and Adoption); speaker Dr. Alfonso Wyatt; Becky Rogers (TFACA president); Loraine Copeland (TFACA regional director South Central); and Ronya Faulkner (DCS Director of Customer Service Resource Parent Training).

Becky Rogers is president of the Tennessee Foster Adoptive Care Association, Inc.

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