We’re shining a spotlight on the people who make KVC Nebraska extraordinary. We’d like you to meet Becki Schindler, a Foster Care Specialist who joined KVC in 2016! As a foster care specialist, Schindler provides direct support and ongoing services to the foster families licensed through KVC and kinship families that are caring for youth through KVC. Read our Q&A with her below to learn more about her role:
What made you choose social work as a career?
I’ve worked in child welfare for the past four and a half years. I honestly can’t see myself working in any other field. Every day is a struggle, but it’s so worth it when you have a chance to make a significant difference in the lives of some pretty great kids and families.
Can you describe what it is like for you to work at KVC?
KVC has been a great place to work. I’ve worked at other agencies, and I’ll say, KVC has the best staff around. I always feel supported, even on days where nothing seems to be going right, and I can always count on my team to help me out.
Describe a proud working moment.
Adoptions are always proud working moments. In my year at KVC, I’ve watched twelve kids be adopted from foster care into their forever homes. It’s truly a heartwarming experience to work alongside these children and families, through the ups and downs in the stressful world of foster care, and to watch them grow together into strong children and stronger families as a whole.
What do you find most rewarding about your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is by far working one-on-one with the kids we serve and the foster families. The children we support have been through some tough situations in their short lives. It’s great to meet them where they’re at while helping them navigate and find success in their every day lives moving forward. I enjoy being the person these children and families feel comfortable in confiding in while working together to promote success. The relationships we build are so important!
Do you have any advice for the clients you work with?
Yes, I would encourage foster and adoptive parents to please be open to caring for children of all ages. Many older children need to be cared for and I’ve met some pretty great teenagers who are waiting for a forever family! A lot of times, people only want to foster babies and younger children with the hopes of adopting them. While young children and babies do enter state custody, our first goal is to try and safely reunite the child with his or her birth parents. If reunification is not possible, relatives and familiar caregivers are often the next best choice to care for them if it is safe.
The primary role of a foster parent is to provide a safe, stable and loving environment for a child while his or her parents work to resolve any conflicts or disruptions and learn healthy skills so the child can safely return home. Foster parents have the ability to build a positive relationship with these kids and provide them with a strong support system which affects them throughout their lives, even if their stay with you is only for a short while.
I would also tell foster parents to meet these kiddos where they’re at. Some of these children have experienced things you can’t even fathom. Understand that their disruptive behaviors aren’t intended to make your life difficult; it may be the only way they know how to express themselves. It can be tough, but don’t give up on them! They need your consistency, love and support to learn these skills that they otherwise may have never learned.
Becki Schindler is one of the many dedicated foster care specialists at KVC who makes a tremendous difference by helping children safely return home after foster care or finding them an adoptive family when safely returning home is not an option. Our dedicated staff are committed to improving the lives of children and families in the community.