Foster homes serve an important role. Foster families provide a safe and loving environment for children and teens in need as well as educational support and medical care to help youth recover from the trauma and/or neglect they have experienced. When a child or teen is unable to safely return home, the goal is to match the child with an adoptive family. Have you ever wondered who helps adults and families become foster parents or helps in the foster-to-adopt cases? We’d like you to meet some of the dedicated people who are involved in licensing process. Meet Eric Johnson, a Licensing Specialist who joined KVC Nebraska in 2007. Eric helps foster-to-adopt parents complete home study assessments, credentialing and completes licensing renewals for families to remain state licensed. In this Q&A, Eric shares the rewards and challenges in his role.
What made you choose social work as a career?
I wanted to have the opportunity to help people through my career. Previously, I worked in other fields where I did not feel I was in a position to help people. I left my previous job because I realized that company’s values did not align with my own core values. I am now pleased to work in the social work field for KVC Nebraska, an organization who adheres to a similar set of core values with a dedication to helping people and improving the lives of children and families.
Describe a proud working moment.
I often complete home studies in my role. One proud working moment for me was during a court hearing in regards to an Adoptive Home Study I submitted to the courts. The judge on the case gave many compliments about the thoroughness and detail of the home study. The judge said they could tell through reading the home study that the family really loves these children and exhibits the dedication to provide a happy, safe and loving home. Another court employee commented they had never heard a judge make as many statements as they did about the certainty of the children being adopted into a home filled with love. I felt the thoroughness of the home study played an integral part in these children being matched with a safe and loving forever home.
Do you have any advice for the clients you work with?
Licensing can sometimes be a stressful and detailed process, but that’s why I’m there – to help make the process a bit easier. My advice for foster parents is to fully understand and comply with licensing requirements of the state. I think being proactive with the completion of training hours throughout the two-year renewal period helps avoid having to rush to complete a large number of training hours when your renewal is coming due. Submitting the appropriate documentation in the form of a training certificate and learning summary form is important in order for training hours to be counted by the Department of Health and Human Services. There are many things I have learned to make the process a bit more manageable, and I enjoy sharing those tips with families.
Eric Johnson is just one of the many passionate employees who work at KVC. Our staff are committed to improving the lives of children and families in the community.
We’re always in need of compassionate families that want to open their home and heart to a child. Click here to learn more about foster parenting. If you are interested in a career in social work, browse the open positions on our careers page.