“You don’t need superpowers to be a hero.”
That’s the message Kabria Hughes shares with prospective foster parents. Hughes is the new foster parent recruiter and trainer for The Barry Robinson Center (BRC). She’s been a therapeutic foster care caseworker with BRC since 2016. In her new role, she’s eager to grow BRC’s program to meet the community’s need for more foster homes.
“The success of BRC’s therapeutic foster care depends heavily on our parents. Without available homes, we can’t help more children. And without quality parents, we won’t be able to properly care for them,” Hughes explained. “I am very passionate about quality care. I enjoy the opportunity to pour my passion into the parents who join our program because they’re the foundation of the care we provide.”
Hughes provided a compelling example of why she’s passionate about working in foster care.
“My proudest moment working at BRC has been discharging one of the children on my caseload into an independent living program for young adults. This child came to our program about a month after I started working at BRC. I managed his case from beginning to end, and I was completely dedicated to seeing it through.
“We kept this young man in the same home with the same caseworker throughout. Continuity of care is most important to me, and I was SOOOOO happy to witness this transition!,” she continued.
“I can’t begin to tell you how much growth I witnessed in this young man’s time with us! He was developmentally delayed, adopted as a toddler, and placed back into foster care as a teen. Despite the odds against him, he received the opportunity to live independently in his own apartment, something he thought he’d never be allowed to do.”
In her new role, Hughes recruits and provides initial training to individuals and families who want to become foster parents. She also ensures certified families receive on-going training to meet the needs of children placed in their homes. Hughes follows up on referrals, assessing the appropriateness of children for therapeutic foster care, and identifying suitable foster families. She also helps ensure BRC remains in compliance with state and regulatory/accrediting agencies.
“BRC offers 24/7 support and crisis intervention to foster parents, ongoing training opportunities, free monthly respite care, and incentives,” Hughes said. “Overall, BRC operates as a family and believes in togetherness to keep things tight for full support and wraparound services.”
This “togetherness” attracted Hughes to BRC from a larger foster care program. She also appreciated BRC’s nonprofit status, which she believes contributes to its “warmer feel.”
“I knew BRC’s foster care department was smaller, so I was interested in helping to grow the program and learn more about what sets BRC apart from other agencies,” she shared.
“I enjoy improving the lives of children and their families most! Advocating for and supporting the building blocks to reshaping a child’s life means a lot. I also enjoy interacting with both the biological families as well as the foster families. I help them work together to achieve permanency for a child whether it be family reunification, adoption, or transition into adulthood.”