What inspired you to get into the field of foster care and adoptions?
Like many other college graduates, I struggled to decide what I wanted to do with my life. For the longest time, I wanted to be in law enforcement but after completing an internship with my local police department, I decided it was not for me. As a criminal justice major, I did notice the lack of rehabilitative services based on our U.S. prison population. One day, I thought to myself, “what can I do to help with this? How can I give people the necessary services they need in order to keep them out of trouble and to be successful in life?” After doing many hours of research, I came to realize the amount of trauma and adversities that many youth may face in the foster care system. Immediately I knew this is where I wanted to start my career.
What do you love most about working as a behavioral specialist?
Building a relationship with each kid is the most exciting part about being a behavioral specialist. Over time, the kids open up and begin to tell you about their past. Although it can be sad at times, within every single kid I can see there is hope for the future. Also, my kids say the funniest things without even trying and they never fail to put a smile on my face!
What would you like families to know about the behavioral specialist position within the field of foster and adoptions?
Welcoming a foster kid into your home is not an easy task. Some kids have behaviors that foster parents might be surprised by or may not know how to handle which is completely normal. A behavioral specialist works alongside the child’s social worker every week in order to teach the foster youth how to regulate their emotions, teach them coping skills, and overall improve their behaviors. A behavioral specialist is a great resource for foster families so that they do not have to endure this journey by themselves.
What do you think makes kids amazing?
Kids are amazing because of their imagination and creativity. I think we can learn a lot from kids because they have less fear than adults when it comes to trying new things and expressing themselves. Kids are on a constant journey of discovering new ideas and concepts and it is such an inspiration to me.