Mountain Circle Chico: Baby Zoey will be going home soon~

A challenge for foster parents is when cases are reunified with their birth parents, but when you truly love a child the most unselfish act is to support what is best for that child.  Reunification stories are great success stories, and because of loving and strong foster parents (known as resource homes now), Mountain Circle is able to be a part of the best case scenario– children being reunified with their parents.  Here is one such story:
Zoey was placed with Mountain Circle as a foster child in Sept. of 2015. She was 3 months old when we got her.  The visits started as supervised, then went to monitored, and finally moved to unsupervised visits with her birth parents.  Last weekend she spent the entire weekend at her bio parents new apartment. Zoey is the happiest baby you have ever seen and when she gets together with her bio parents she beams.
From the beginning, her parents have been working extremely hard to get her back. They go to couples counseling, their communication skills have improved, and they have a good solid support group in their hometown of Oroville.
  1. Tell me where you are at today? What in your lives makes things have a positive outlook, as opposed to, a year ago?

We moved this last weekend into our very own home. Definitely Zoey coming home to us, give us our positive outlook. An end to this process is also another reason for our positive outlook.

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  1. What resources have you used to get to the point that you are at? What else motivates you for change?

We used all that CPS had to offer us, whatever they said we did. The classes that we went to, we learned a lot from. We now use those tools in our daily life.

  1. When is the expected date that your family gets to officially be together again?

August 3, 2016

  1. As a family unit, what are you most looking forward to in the near future? For example, taking walks together, eating dinner as a family, movie night, etc.?

We are looking forward to taking trips to the park with the baby and just being together as a family.

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  1. Would you mind talking about what has been the biggest struggle for each of you? And, specifically what has, or is, helping the both of you with your biggest road block?

Misty: Trying to stay together through it all is a struggle, but taking classes and recovery homes has helped her with her biggest road block. The support they have received from everyone has been a big help.

Lawrence: God has been the biggest help when facing road blocks.

  1. Is there anything that makes you nervous about the future? What might be your biggest road block for the future?

Misty: As long as we keep doing what we are doing we don’t have any fears about the future.

  1. What resources (organizations, people, etc.) will you turn to, or continue to use in the future to stay on a good path?

We have our Church congregation and our friends in recovery, as well. Rebecca from solutions has helped us a lot, we like to bug her a lot, she is a great resource for the both of us.

  1. What plans do you have for your family and your future? For example, moving, job changes, hobbies, etc.?

Lawrence: It’s hard to answer that because we live one day at a time. So, probably making our family stronger one day at a time.

  1. Is there anything else you would like to add that I didn’t cover?

This is a long hard road. Recovery is not for people who need it, but for people who want it and we definitely want it.

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Baby Zoey’s Foster Mom Maria says, “I can see that they have done a lot of work to meet the case plan goals. They have gone above and beyond and that is reassuring to me, as I prepare to let Zoey go.” This family is on their way to creating a healthy and permanent home for Baby Zoey, and the Mountain Circle Chico office is proud to be a part of their success!

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How to Become a Foster Parent in Plumas and Lassen Counties

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Susanville, Chester, Quincy, Lake Almanor, Janesville, Greenville, & Portola….WE WANT YOU!

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If you live in Lassen or Plumas countyMountain Circle Family Services has a great TEAM to assist you becoming certified as a foster/adoptive family!

Are you looking to help your community by providing a loving and nurturing home for a child in need? Have you wondered what it would be like to become a foster or adoptive parent, but have worried about what that might mean for you and your family? If you call one of Mountain Circles’ offices in Lassen or Plumas County, you will receive a quick response with information and answers specific to YOUR interests and concerns as they relate to foster care and adoption.

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Our offices in Susanville and Greenville serve the Lassen, Plumas, and surrounding areas in Northeastern California. Mountain Circle has been in business for over 30 years and our main goal is serving our families and children. We provide support with child interventions, working with professionals in the foster system to meet child needs, and providing certification and ongoing training.

Working with Mountain Circle, you are never alone! Our flexible and ongoing support allows families certified with Mountain Circle to focus on being a loving resource and parent, while the Mountain Circle Team navigates the rest for you.

In addition to connecting with our professional social work staff, you will be given the opportunity to meet foster families through volunteering for our annual Running with the Bears Boston Qualifying Charity Race or at other foster family events like picnics and parties. If you have foster teens, Mountain Circle even takes them on an all-expenses-paid ski trip to Sugar Bowl!

Group Ski Trip Shot

Our team applies the dedication we show to the children and families we work with each and every day to everything we do…, which includes talking with you! When you call the Susanville or Greenville Mountain Circle office and tell us you are interested in foster care and/or adoption, you will notice we are different. Our staff is highly experienced and we will make the process as smooth as possible for you.

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When you call one of our offices, you will have your questions answered and be invited to a free, no strings attached orientation. At the Orientation, we will walk you through every step of the certification process if you decide to move forward!

Give us a call today!

Susanville @ (530) 257-7407

Greenville @ (530) 284-7007

Or Toll Free @ (844) 540-8618

Making a difference in the life of a child could start with just one phone call.

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Mountain Circle Susanville is Hiring!

Are you wanting to do more for foster children? Are you interested in Social Work? If so, then we have a job opening that would be perfect for you!

 

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What a lovely desk. This could be yours!

 

We are currently looking to employ an individual in our Susanville office.

 

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Seth, Senior Social Worker

 

We interviewed our own Senior Social Worker in Susanville, Seth, about the job opening:

1)      What makes a good social worker?

There are two characteristics, which make a good Social Worker. These characteristics are interpersonal skills and the ability to employ empathy. In every situation, we have to be able to simultaneously put ourselves in anyone’s shoes that are involved in the situation and come to a common ground where everyone’s needs are met.

2)      What are the qualifications for this position?

It is preferred that the applicant has a master’s degree in social work, however, we can hire someone with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work or a related field. We would simply have to petition Community Care Licensing for an exception. That person also has to work as a Social Worker’s assistant for the first six months before they can be a social worker. Some other requirements for this position is this person must pass a background check, have a vehicle the can use on the job, and have a valid driver’s license.

3)      What is Mountain Circle’s mission statement and how does this position fit into that?

Mountain Circle Family Services, Inc. is a non-profit community based organization, committed to ensure stability and life sustaining changes for foster and adoptive Untitled design (10)children. The way this fits into that is that this person will have to contact both foster families and foster children of both ages 0-potentially 24. They are the ones on the front lines actually delivering services and providing support for the families and making sure everyone’s needs are met.

Anybody who is interested in this position or social work in general needs to want to make a difference, but be able to recognize that positive change in individuals and families happen over time. And what I mean by that–we, as social workers, need to be able to remind ourselves of this or be grateful for the work we do.

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A good Social Worker does the work because we want to, not for the recognition.

To apply: Contact Seth Sshepard@mountaincircle.org  Or Call: Direct Phone: 1(530)257-7407

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Mountain Circle Family Services: April News From The Front Lines

April Newsletter

Mountain Circle Reno:

“I’m her big sissy, I have to always protect her.”

The sweet Anastasia, 4, says to me over the phone. This is one of the youngest sibling sets the Reno Mountain Circle Foster Care office has ever had the pleasure of working with. Aaliyah, who is only three, looks to her big sister for everything she does. They are very close not just in age, but as close as two sisters can be. However, it was not always like this. At first, the girls did not understand what it meant to be sisters.

image1 (4)They struggled to connect with one another. At this tender age, we are building ties and connections to our caregivers and when removed from our constant and put into a new home that we do not understand–it can be difficult. The girls at first had a tough time adjusting with their foster parents, Michael and Theresa- in fact, adjustment took a few months.

Through time, and a lot of assistance from their Mountain Circle team, they were enrolled into a pre-kindergarten school and both ladies have excelled beautifully. They are learning how to create bonds and friendships with the other children in the home and with Michael and Theresa. Their home, as Michael and Theresa like to call it, is a “healing home” and that is what they intend to do for all those in need. These two sisters will finally be able to be adopted by a family friend they have known all their lives and call her Auntie Carrie.

Anxiety was high before their first big visit with Auntie Carrie, and upon coming back. they have reported just how excited they are. Carrie has expressed her absolute excitement to have active kids in her home again and to experience life with Aaliyah and Anastasia. Their foster dad was caught with a small tear coming down his cheek and explained,

“I just want these girls to finally know and understand what unconditional love is and what being in a family means. They have never understood the meaning of true family and I hope with Carrie they will finally get that.”

The girls are expected to be fully transitioned come the end of April!

 

 

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The rest of the April Issue can be found in these links!

 

Mountain Circle Chico Office Trainings:

Saturday April 16th: FP1 Orientation. 10am-12pm
Saturday April 16th: FP2 Policy & Procedure. 1pm-6pm
Saturday April 23rd: FP3 Parenting a Foster Child. 10am-4pm
Friday April 29th: FP1 Orientation. 10am-12pm
Friday April 29th: FP3 Parenting a Foster Child. 1pm-6pm
Mountain Circle Greenville and Susanville Offices: Individual Foster/Adoptive Parent Orientations are available now, simply contact your local office.
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Mountain Circle Powder Quest 2016!!

Powder Quest 2016 was a BLAST!!!

On Friday, March 4th, four Mountain Circle employees and 18 past and present foster youth, ages 14 and up, from Chico, Susanville, and Reno gathered at the Clair Tappan Lodge in preparation for a weekend full of skiing, snowboarding, bonding, and learning!  Friday night involved getting settled in, meeting new people, as well as seeing returning faces.  Special recognition and a gift was given to Lalo Romero, who is now 24 years old and on track to graduate from Feather River College this year.  Lalo has been with Mountain Circle since 2003, and has been a great mentor and inspiration to us all.

Lalo

 

To honor Lalo, who has been coming on this trip for 10 years and is now 24 and graduating with his AA degree, we gave him a sweet ride! Lalo has been with Mountain Circle since he was an 11-year old foster child.

 

It was up and at ‘em early Saturday morning to eat breakfast and head to Sugar Bowl to hit the slopes!!  Returning skiers and snowboarders made a b-line for the lifts, while those less experienced individuals opted to take a lesson.  The weather on Saturday was quite rainy, but nonetheless, fun was had by all!

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After dinner Saturday night, staff and youth gathered in the lodge for a traditional game of Apples to Apples, which is always a fun and special time of laughs and bonding.  In fact, it is noted as several of the youth’s most memorable experiences during the weekend that they will not forget.

“I love game night, Apples to Apples was a lot of fun!!” ~ Madison Shea

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What a surprise everyone woke up to Sunday morning…over a foot of snow!!!  What an adventure it was digging out and packing up all of the vehicles!

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Ski Trip

 

 

 

 

 

Once the vehicles were packed and ready to go, everyone gathered together for a Mountain Circle family photo.

 

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The Mountain Circle Family. For some foster youth, this was the FIRST time they had seen snow! 

 

We said, “See you next year!” to the Clair Tappan Lodge, and headed back to Sugar Bowl.

 

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Anna and Curtis, Mountain Circle Social Workers

 

With all of the fresh snow, Sunday slope conditions couldn’t be much better, and everyone hit it hard again! By Sunday afternoon, everyone was tuckered out.  Well, almost everyone…

 

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Foster youth learn to push themselves on the slopes~

 

“This was by far one of the best trips I have ever been on in my entire life.  I learned so Anna 2much on so many levels, and made friends and memories that I will forever cherish.  I am so very thankful to have had this experience, and to be able to call Mountain Circle my family. ” ~ Anna L. Mountain Circle Social Worker.

A big THANK YOU to the Running with the Bears Charity Runners who make this weekend possible! What does this trip mean to Mountain Circle’s youth participants? Watch this short film about the impact of Running with the Bears!

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Mountain Circle Chico

We interview our Butte County Interns!

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ARE YOU HAPPY WITH HOW LAST SEMESTER TURNED OUT REGARDING THE INTERNSHIP HERE AT MOUNTAIN CIRCLE (MC)?

KATIE: I am happy with how it turned out. I think MC is very structured and has their stuff together, I like that.

CHRIS: I’m happy, too. I got a lot of exposure to different areas of social work that you can’t get in many other places.

WHAT WAS MOST ENJOYABLE HERE AT MOUNTAIN CIRCLE THIS LAST SEMESTER?

KATIE: I enjoyed working with the families and the children. The hands on experience is the best.

CHRIS: I enjoyed the hands on experience, too. Meeting and talking with families and getting to know them is the most enjoyable.

WHAT WAS THE MOST STRESSFUL?

KATIE: Fitting in and figuring out where my place is within MC was the most stressful for me. Also, trying to remember all the information that goes into each individual case.

CHRIS: Coming into a new semester with paperwork that is already past-due, for me, that is the most stressful.

DID ANY LEARNING EXPERIENCE STAND OUT FOR EITHER OF YOU FROM LAST SEMESTER?

KATIE: I realized how big and complicated the system is as a whole. There are many channels that play a role within the system and it can be confusing.

CHRIS: How important communication is between all parties involved within the foster care system. Also, how everything relates to everything else.

HOW EASY/DIFFICULT IS IT TO BALANCE YOUR INTERNSHIP, SCHOOL, AND LIFE DEMANDS?

KATIE: As long as you stayed on top of all the work then everything could be done, but when you feel like you fall behind that’s when it becomes stressful.

CHRIS: Easy, as long as you stick to a system. I always account for the unexpected to prevent the stress.

WHAT NEW ROLES DO THE TWO OF YOU HAVE HERE AT MC?

KATIE: Case Manager for a couple of cases. I will be handling home visits. I did my first one the other day; I was prepared, but really nervous. Cynthia is our immediate supervisor and because of her I was ready for my first home visit, she is a very supportive supervisor.

CHRIS: Case Manager, too. I will be doing quarterlies, home studies and more. I know I have a bunch of paperwork that goes to Seth and it sounds like I will be learning a lot through him and his critiques.

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS IN REGARDS TO YOUR NEW POSITION?

KATIE: I expect to become comfortable and well acquainted with managing case loads, until it’s as familiar as the back of my hand.

CHRIS: With a good amount of feedback, I expect to become comfortable doing paperwork to the point of needing little supervision.

ANY WORRIES?

KATIE: I’m worried about leaving. I going to find my niche and get into my zone and then have to pick up and leave at the end of the semester.

CHRIS: I’m worried about how families are going to react to my leaving at the end of the semester; and then, having to reconnect with another social worker.

EXCITED ABOUT IT?

KATIE: I’m excited about this entire learning experience, also I look forward to really building a rapport with the children.

CHRIS: I’m excited about going to court for the first time. It’s just around the corner, March 7th, with a sibling set of 5.

WOULD EITHER OF YOU LIKE TO ADD ANYTHING ELSE?

KATIE: I have a potential end goal… possibly LCSW, I’m thinking about it. Also, I might like to stay within foster care when I get back to my hometown, San Diego; I really enjoy working with the children in this capacity.

CHRIS: Nada!

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Mountain Circle Reno

Marlee and Me: News from our Mountain Circle Reno office.

Sometimes, creating safe  homes for foster children means supporting birth parents in building stable homes for children to return to.

Waking up in a bed that is not yours. In a room you have never been in before. All you can think is,

“this is not real, I will go home and none of this would have happened.”

This is what it was like for young Marlee who has been in foster care since 2014. Being removed from her father was devastating. However, even while incarcerated, Marlee’s dad Kaleb made it a point to make the best of his skype dates, letters, and phone calls. He never missed a single date with his little girl.

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Kaleb was released at the end of October 2015, and he has showed great promise in reunifying himself and Marlee. First off, he landed a full-time job in the beginning of December 2015, has been referred to the LIHTF place for housing, and even has a scooter for transportation. He is waiting to hear back on a grant that he applied for through the LIHTF program of housing assistance. Kaleb has found an apartment that is close to Marlee’s current school so she can still have the same friends and will not have to move. Visitations have increased to 6 hours on Sundays, in which they spend most of their time at the Discovery Museum. Marlee loves science and that is her favorite place to go. Overnight stays will begin as soon as Kaleb has an official apartment.  He has made it to every court hearing, every visitation, and expresses how hard he is working. The immense amount of love and dedication that is pouring out of Kaleb to get his daughter back is astounding.

Great work Kaleb, Mountain Circle is glad to be a part of your success story!

 

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