Welcome Christine! Mountain Circle Chico

ChristineWelcome to our Chico Mountain Circle office, Christine!

We interview her about how she came to join our Chico team:

1.) Tell us a little about yourself… What is your degree in, and where did you get it? What is your plan in this field?

I have a B.A. Psychology and Human Services from DePaul University Chicago. I wanted to get into the human services/social services side because that deals with the larger spectrum, not just the individual. Psychology and counseling is a great resource but the emotional aspect is such a small portion of your well-being. I want to go down the social services route in order to give access to a whole range of resources.

Also, I like this field of work because if keeps me active; the diversity and energy is great, and always keeps me on my toes.

2.) Why did you apply for this position at Mountain Circle? With your background, what do you think you can offer to Mountain Circle’s foster care and adoptive families?

I used to work at a Group Home in Chicago as a counselor and so I saw the foster care system from a different perspective. In that environment, I saw how negatively children are affected when foster families don’t have the support and knowledge they really need when dealing with victims of trauma; in many ways this creates even more trauma. I saw this position and thought that my skills would benefit foster families greatly. My goal is to reduce trauma to the children, and support our families, offer resources, and work as a team. Especially with AB403 coming into effect January of 2017, foster families are going to need even more specialized training as they will be getting children from group homes. I want to help families look into the cause of certain behaviors, rather than punish those behaviors. Knowing the root problem will offer a better chance for children, and ultimately their success in life.

3.) So far, what do you love about your job?

Being a Mountain Circle Social Worker for foster and adoptive families means a bunch of different activities all the time. You never know what the day holds, and with my personality that challenge is appreciated! I like to be kept on my toes.

Also, our office here in Chico, is very supportive. Everyone here is their own individual but that also really know how to work as a team. I love our environment here at this office.

And, all of Mountain Circle foster parents are in this for the right reasons. I can tell already- each foster parent that I talk with want what’s best for the children.

4.) What would you consider the most challenging part of this work?

Communication barriers with other agencies. It’s incredibly challenging when you are trying to make a good fit for a child and foster family, and you don’t have all of the information. For example, gathering the child’s history, such as, triggers and traumas can be difficult. The more information we have, the easier it is to place the child with the correct family; unfortunately, a lot of information falls through the cracks agency to agency.

5.) Did you have preconceived notions before getting involved with foster families, if so, how have those ideas changed? How have they not? Did you know what to expect?

Yes. The system in Chicago is different but my experience was with dealing with funds always being cut, mental health services being cut, and the lack of support for those that needed it. Foster parents were not properly trained, not supported. I often questioned their motives because I saw the other side. I saw so many kids not successful, and have even more trauma coming from foster care, because of foster parent lack of knowledge, support, and resources available to them.

Here at Mountain Circle, I see how we support and train foster families, and therefore really establish safe and stable homes for children in their time of need. I’ve seen our foster parents make tough decisions in the best interest of the foster child. I’m able to give support where needed, and I appreciate the families for all they do. From what I’ve witnessed, they are all in it for the right reasons.

6.)  How are you adjusting to your new job now that things slowly becoming clear, and you are gaining more knowledge?

When I first started, I felt I had the skills, just not the knowledge. It was intimidating to ask questions in the midst of our daily busyness. At the same time, I enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, the daily challenge. I just kept moving forward. Also, it helped me build a rapport with our families and county social workers. I would tell them I was unsure of many things and that I was in the process of learning; they really seemed to appreciate the honesty.

7.) As a result of SAFE training, you missed our first official Running With The Bears staff preparation meeting. But, now that it’s kick-off season, what are your thoughts regarding our biggest fundraiser of the year? Excited, nervous, both?

I have no idea what to expect. I know it’s a huge deal, and I’m ready for the challenge. I worked on a coordination team with another run/walk called Out of the Darkness for the American Foundation Suicide Prevention organization. Through that experience, I know how crazy events like these can get. It should be really fun.

8.) What are you most looking forward to here at Mountain Circle?

Learning more about everything. I like to stay up to date on all social services information, such as, AB 403. I’m looking forward to the knowledge I can gain here. Working with children who are losing their families is quite humbling, so there is going to be a lot of personal growth here, and I’m looking forward to it!

Welcome to the Mountain Circle Team, Christine! 

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Mountain Circle Susanville: Camping trips in the works!

Mountain Circle has many team members who go above and beyond their job description. Jody Aparton, store manager at NU-2-U and mentor for the youth in THP (Transitional Housing Program) is no exception. This summer, Jody has big plans for the youth who participate in Mountain Circle’s independent living program.


Staff member Jody

Jody has been working hard to gather camping equipment, either through Nu-2-U Store donations, or simply by buying them himself.  Jody has also spent numerous hours repairing a utility trailer to haul all the camping gear in order to ensure the youth have everything they need to have a safe and wonderful camping adventure. However, when speaking with Jody, it doesn’t sound like all fun and games– there will be many camping skills to learn.  Jody will delegate roles to each individual on the trip, and he hopes this will pull some of the youth out of their comfort zones, and will teach them leadership skills.

Jody plans to take the youth locally around Westwood, Chester, and Susanville area, this way they can venture out again on their own, or with friends if they desire.  We asked Jody a couple of questions about his plans:

What will you teach the youth on the camping trips?

I plan to teach fire starting, compass reading, map reading, meal preparation, and safety. among other things.

What do you hope the youth take away from the camping trips?

Besides the actual camping skills I plan to teach them, my hope is that the youth also gain skills for the future such as working together, survival techniques, leadership, perseverance, organization etc.

When do you plan to embark on these adventures?

We will go when the weather permits, and when we can gather a large enough group.  I also expect the youth to help with planning and preparing lists of items needed, so that will begin soon.

Thank you Jody for being a positive force in the lives of Mountain Circle’s foster youth!  Please give us an update after your trip with lots of pictures.  We are excited to watch your journey!

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June Mountain Circle News From the Front Lines

August Newsletter (3)


From our Mountain Circle Chico office:

Mountain Circle’s Eat Happy! Program offers foster families, as well as our Independently Living transitional foster youth, $500 a month in free food!  For years,  Mountain Circle Foster Parent, Sarah C. has made her way out to Oroville’s Food Bank to stock up on various food items for a major discount; offered by Butte County’s Community Action Agency.


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This is one delivery to a foster family


Mountain Circle purchases the food by the pound, and donates the food back to our foster families- the best part is that the EatHappy! program is overseen by volunteer foster parents like Sarah.


This last Saturday, Sarah took the charge! Several families made a stop by Mountain Circle’s Chico office as part of their trip into town, as they live hours away. When families have many mouths to feed, it’s a relief to be able to stock up on non-perishable items for free. This is Mountain Circle’s way of saying that we are here for you, and THANK YOU for being a part of our extended family!


EatHappy! is an incredible program, but we couldn’t do it without generous volunteers like Sarah. She selflessly goes out of her way to load up the pantry, and maintain its organization, with a variety of food for Mountain Circle’s families. Thanks to Sarah and her years of dedication to resource/foster families,  Mountain Circle has the ability to offer yet another great resource for the hard working caregivers on our team.


From our Mountain Circle Susanville office:

Last month, the Community Church of Susanville raised over $2,000 to purchase and stock 106 boys and girls backpacks for Mountain Circle’s foster children. These backpacks were donated for children ages 3- 12 years old, and they were filled with items such as personal hygiene products, coloring books, stuffed animals, and school supplies.

This gracious community church reached out to improvised kids in our community and has helped them in more ways than we can imagine. Most children who enter foster care have nothing but the clothes on their back, or a trash bag full of the few items that they possess. Not at Mountain Circle! These backpacks will help comfort the children through their hard times, and will help to ease their transition into a new home. For foster children, these backpacks are more than just items- they’re proof that there are people out there in the world who are there for them, when the children may be feeling most alone.


These backpacks will provide more than just “things,” they will help fill Mountain Circle’s children with kindness and hope. From all of us at Mountain Circle Family Services, thank you Community Church of Susanville! Your donation means so much!


From the Mountain Circle Reno office:

Welcome to the Mountain Circle team, Max and Naturalee!  These brand new foster parents came to Mountain Circle with open hearts and a will to help others. They have not had the joy of being able to raise their own children yet, but have expressed their excitement to be able to help mold young lives for the better. They are both very calm and confident individuals, and they make quite the dynamic duo.


Max and Naturalee have expressed their willingness to assist in reunifications, temporary, or long term placements. Both love being active. Naturalee is thrilled to do a lot of fun outdoor activities this summer here in in the Washoe Valley area and Max really finds gardening to being relaxing and soothing. They were both raised with religion and are open to those who have different views and beliefs than their own. The also mentioned how much they are looking forward to being a healthy stepping stone in reuniting loved ones together.

We ask them a few questions about becoming foster parents: 

Why did you want to become foster parents with Mountain Circle?

Mountain Circle provides an extensive amount of support. Because of our fears, we appreciate the help from this great team- to support us in areas where we might not be strong enough to do on our own just yet.

Why are you fears?

We are first time parents. Will we be strong enough to withstand any challenges we might face?

Can you tell us what you are most looking forward to?
We live in Reno!! We are so excited to have the full house affect, summer activities and the new addition to our family. We have so many awesome plans we want to do this summer as a family, and we just cannot wait to start them all.
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June/July Mountain Circle Trainings

Mountain Circle Reno Office:

Foster Parent Trainings:

Monday, June 13th  (4pm-8pm)

  • Introduction to Foster Care
  • Welcoming a Child
  • Attachment and Bonding
  • MC Policy and Procedures: Confidentiality, Prohibited Disciplinary Measures
  • NAC 424 Regulations
  • Foster Parent Manual
  • CFT Meetings

Tuesday, June 14th  (4pm-8pm)

  • Together Facing the Challenge
  • DSM: Diagnosis and Intervention
  • Suicide Awareness and Prevention
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Medication Administration
  • Record Keeping Vignettes Classwork
  • Program Documentation and Record Keeping
  • Caregiver Burnout

Monday, June 20th  (4pm-8pm)

  • Trauma Informed Care: Modules 1-2
  • Trauma Informed Care: Modules 3-4

Tuesday, June 21st  (4pm-8pm)

  • Trauma Informed Care: Modules 5-6
  • Trauma Informed Care: Modules 7-8

Friday, July 22nd 9am-5pm

  • Details: Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Part 1. Details: Lunch on your own. Register with Ana in Reno. Please limit to 16 participants. Please strongly encourage staff and families to attend so they can have it when Part 2 is offered soon after:)

Mountain Circle Chico Office:

Trauma Informed Care:
  • Friday, June 10th 9am-5pm Part I
  • Saturday, June 11th 9am-5pm Part II
Foster Parent 2 Policy, Procedure and Documentation:
  • Saturday, July 16th 1pm-7pm

Foster Parent Orientation:

  • Saturday, June 25th, 10am-12pm
  • Tuesday, July 26th, 6pm – 8pm
  • Saturday, July 16th, 10am – 12pm

Mountain Circle Greenville Office:

Non-Violent Crisis Intervention: 
  • Friday, July 8th 9am-5pm (Part I)


Were here for you

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Mountain Circle Susanville

Congratulations to Daniel!

Daniel is a20160520_154532 Mountain Circle Transitional Housing Program (THP) participant (Independent Living Skills for older foster youth), and is currently employed at our NU-2-U Thrift Store. He has also been a member of Lassen County Arts Council for five years, and was just recently elected to be a member of the Arts Council Board! Congratulations Daniel!

Daniel is a very hard working and caring individual, and he loves to be creative and work with his hands. He is currently working on a project with the Arts Council right now- each year, the Council has a community art event theme and this year it is The Art of Painted Roosters. All Roosters that are purchased by the community will be on display at the Lassen County Fair, and are then voted on by fairgoers for a People’s Choice Award. All proceeds go to the Arts Council. Daniel also helps put on weekly events that the community may attend, such as their weekly Adult Coloring Club!

What got Daniel involved in this community-based group? His previous foster mom, Debra, is the board president!  This connection has given Daniel the opportunity to maintain a strong relationship with Debra even after exiting Foster Care. And, of course, she loves to see how much positivity she has brought to Daniel’s life! “What a joy to see him become such a wonderful young man.” We asked Debra a couple of questions about Daniel:

1.) Tell us a little bit about Daniel:

He is very easy going, very very intelligent, he’s always willing to help out, thinks on his feet, and is very responsible.

2) What do you think Daniel has gained from being a member of the Arts Council?

He has learned how to be a responsible adult, and how being a part of your local community is really meaningful. He has actually learned some office skills from being a part of this council and, of course, art skills! He was just elected to be a member of the Arts Council board because of his persistent 5 years that he has put into this group.

3) How has it been for you as a foster mom, watching Daniel grow into a young man?

It’s been amazing. Just watching him go from this shy and quite teenager and develop into this responsible, caring adult has been such a gift.


Debra couldn’t express enough how amazing Daniel is at helping out. He is always there to give anyone a hand when they are in need.

We asked Daniel a few questions about his time with the Arts Council:

1) How has the Arts Council helped you  to grow?

It has really taught me how to be responsible, and how having great communication skills is a good characteristic to have in life.

2) What’s your favorite thing about being a part of the Arts Council?

The sense of pride knowing that I am helping the arts in this community to thrive and nourish.

Mountain Circle is very proud of you Daniel! 

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May News From the Front Lines of Mountain Circle Family Services

May Header


Mountain Circle Reno: Three sisters reunite


Delilah, Heaven, and Stephanie

In the world of foster care, change can be a constant. For their entire lives, these three sisters were unable to live together in one family. Delilah and Heaven remained in one home, while their sister Stephanie was separated from the pack. They saw each other at school, and often spoke of their hopes reunification- but due to a lack of foster homes, it simply wasn’t possible.

Delilah and Heaven’s Mountain Circle foster mom, Gwen, was determined to provide stability and love until a larger foster home could be found for all three of them. Through time spent with Gwen, Delilah and Heaven were able to learn how to love and trust again, and on April 14th, they were reunited in a more permanent home. Because of foster parents like Gwen, these girls have a bright future, together!


Mountain Circle works hard to keep siblings under one roof, but it is our amazing foster parents who make it a ‘home,’ who read the bedtime stories, and who forever change the lives of these special children – even if the child’s stay in their home is temporary.

Mountain Circle is very proud of our incredible foster parents, thank you for your dedication, Gwen!

I'm a foster mom, what's your superpower?:



Support Mountain Circle’s Foster Kids and you may win a handmade quilt!

Meet Laura: “I am participating in Running With the Bears as a Charity Runner and this will be my third time Running the marathon.  EVERY single person who donates at least $25 to my fundraising page will get their name into a drawing to win this lap size quilt. The drawing will be on July 4th, and I will pay for shipping in the U.S. Thank you for helping me to help foster kids! You can find my fundraising page here:  https://www.raceplanner.com/donate/Laura-Hendrix-Filbeck  Thank you and have a blessed day.”  

⇒ 100% of funds raised by Charity Runners supports Mountain Circle, a non-profit foster care and adoption agency. THANK YOU!!!


These Ladies Are Unstoppable… 

Delta Nu is a service and friendship sorority that has been helping the Chico community for over 50 years!  The members range in age from their early 20’s to their 80’s, and their purpose is to get together and plan fun events to raise money for groups that help their hometown of Chico.  Delta Nu also enjoys getting involved with other organizations that need help putting on their events, such as Mountain Circle’s annual fundraiser, the Running with the Bears Marathon, ½ Marathon, and 10K.

delta 2

This August, Delta Nu will be helping Mountain Circle for the 3rd year in a row, managing an aid station for Running with the Bears!  Aid stations are a vital component to the success of this fundraising event,  and we couldn’t do it without the support of such   enthusiastic, energetic, and creative volunteers!


Delta Nu not only helps out at the Marathon, but they give back directly to our foster kids. In April, this amazing group of ladies donated several handmade bags full of age and gender-specific items for children newly placed in foster care, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, coloring books and crayons, and a soft stuffed animal to cuddle with for a younger child.

A. Le Seur 2

This is Austin.

He was recently placed in a foster home in Quincy, California, and he received one of the bags created by Delta Nu.  Austin was ecstatic when he opened the bag of goodies, and immediately named his stuffed animal, “Teddy.”  Austin keeps a close eye on “Teddy”, and frequently has him in town when his Social Worker comes to visit.  Thank you, Delta Nu for expanding your service and support far beyond your own community!

If you would like to make an impact on Mountain Circle’s foster kids, please give us a call, email, or make a gift to our fundraising page!! Every dollar helps. Thank you!



Upcoming foster parent trainings offered in the Mountain Circle Chico office:

Non -Violent Crisis Intenvention (NVCI) Part 1:
Tuesday, May 10. 8:30am-5pm
Saturday, May 14. 8:30am-5pm

NVCI Part 2:
Friday, May 20. 8:30am-5pm

Questions about fostering? We offer free orientations at any time convenient to you! Just give us a call.


Mountain Circle’s Executive Director’s Corner:

What does Meat Loaf and Human Capital have to do with Destructive Entitlement?  An old wise tale, which talks about meatloaf comes to mind… Read the blog on Dr. Rossington’s LinkedIn Page.


Want to read more? We publish two blogs, one about the work of Mountain Circle Family Services, Inc.  FOLLOW THE MOUNTAIN CIRCLE BLOG and one about the Running with the Bears event (Mountain Circle’s annual fundraiser). Don’t miss out on the latest news!  GO TO THE RUNNING WITH THE BEARS BLOG

Contact Us! 
4-social-trends-impacting-the-future-of-online-fundraising-3440832513Mountain Circle Chico Office:
Mountain Circle Greenville Office: 
Mountain Circle Susanville Office:
Mountain Circle Reno Office:
Email Us

OR Visit: www.MountainCircle.Org 

Click to Donate

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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.

ProutyFamily2 (2)

  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.

Prouty1Peekaboo (2)

  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.

Prouty3Peekaboo (2)

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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