Mountain Circle Family Services, a foster care agency serving Northern Nevada and California, is excited to host a two-day workshop on October 5th and 6th featuring Dr. John Degarmo! Thanks to the generosity of the Terry Lee Wells Foundation, this training is completely free to Social Workers, Foster/Resource Families, and to individuals interested in providing foster care in the Reno area. The location of the workshop will be the city of Reno, exact location to be determined. You can view Dr. Degarmo’s work and media interviews on his website here. CEU’s and training hours provided!
“Foster care is in crisis in our nation. There is an increase in the number of children being placed into foster care not only in Wisconsin, but nationwide, due much in part to the opioid crisis that is strangling our country. Yet, with more children being placed into a strained foster care system, there are not enough foster parents. To be sure, not everyone can be a foster parent. To be sure, it is the most challenging yet most rewarding thing I have ever done. Yet, everyone can help a child in foster care in some fashion. Whether it is by being a mentor to a child in care, helping with school supplies, providing new clothes and toiletries to foster parent associations, or many other ways, each of us can help children in care, and bring much needed resources and aid to these children who have suffered so much. Faith, Hope, and Love is doing just that; providing much needed help to Wisconsin’s children in foster care.”
DeGarmo and his wife have three biological children and three adoptive children from the foster care system, plus they care for up to three foster children at any given time, although that number can change day to day. What is it like having so many children in their home? “Being a foster parent is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “I’ve had 55 foster kids, and every one that has come through our home made me, in some way, a better parent, a better spouse and a better person overall.”
He cited an example. “A child came to us when she was 17. She had gone through three failed adoptions over nine years, with all the families abusing her in some fashion. She went through so much, so we tried to be a consistent force in her life. We gave her unconditional love and promised she would be part of our family forever. She aged out of system and has gone on to do so much. She is now 27, she has a college degree and works in a child welfare program where she is a case worker of sorts. She is using her education and lived experience to help others who are facing challenges in their lives. She is a great mother and recently we visited her in the new home she just bought. She inspires me and her story inspires me. We speak several times a week and we remain a consistent force in her life. The unconditional love never stops.”
What does DeGarmo say to people who may be interested in learning more about becoming foster parents? “You may not be able to change the world, but for a child who needs stability and love, you can change their world,” he said. “When you care for a child in need in your own home, when you give that child unconditional love, you receive so much joy and love. These are not bad kids, they’re kids who’ve had bad things happen to them. They need someone to say I will care for you, I will be there for you, I will love you unconditionally. What a wonderful opportunity that is.”
John DeGarmo, Ed.D., is the director of The Foster Care Institute, and acts as a consultant to foster care agencies and legal agencies across the world. He is a dynamic speaker and informative international speaker, and travels extensively meeting with teachers, schools, foster parents, child welfare workers, churches, and organizations. He and his wife have been recipients of several awards for their work as foster and adoptive parents, including The Good Morning America Ultimate Hero Award, the Up With People Everyday Hero Award, Co-Citizens of the Year, and more. www.drjohndegarmofostercare.com
Mountain Circle will be providing a full catered lunch both days at no cost, although donations are accepted. Childcare also available (Saturday only) upon request. Please contact us for group hotel rates!
Questions? Contact by phone at 530-284-7007 or by email info@MountainCircle.Org