Q&A with Kelli Jo Anderson, Foster Care Specialist
This article was originally published March 29, 2018. We updated it in January 2019 to describe two awards presented to Kelli Jo Anderson.
Foster and kinship parents have a rewarding yet challenging role. They care for children and teens in the foster care system until they can be safely reunified with their biological families. We provide support to foster and kinship families with the most up-to-date training on child safety, how to administer medication, and ways to help youth who have experienced trauma.
KVC Nebraska Foster Care Specialists
Our Foster Care Specialists work with the youth and foster families to ensure they have the resources and support they need to create a healthy, safe environment. Kelli Jo Anderson is one of our amazing Foster Care Specialists and she’s been with KVC since 2012. Kelli provides direct support and ongoing services to KVC kinship and licensed foster families who are caring for youth.
Kelli recently received two exciting awards from KVC to recognize her dedication and hard work throughout 2018. Read below to find out why she was KVC Nebraska’s 2018 Employee of the Year and Power Ranger!
2018 Employee of the Year
Kelli received this award because of her passion to create change and seek out opportunities to help the people we serve in life-giving ways. She has a wealth of knowledge that she eagerly shares and is constantly helping others by mentoring new employees, training foster parents, and picking up work when a teammate needs support. Kelli is a team player who can always be counted on by our staff and clients. She is very dedicated to the families and children she serves and wants to see every single person be successful. Kelli also uses her story of adoption and personal life experiences to authentically empathize and encourage others to bravely grow through their challenges. She is an inspiration to everyone at KVC and a true asset to our team!
2018 Power Ranger
Each year, this award goes to a staff member who fights, fights, fights to get ahead and get things done. They may play down their gusto by wearing a colorful mask and have a powerful team behind them, but they’re always ready to dive in headfirst and do what it takes.
To learn more about Kelli’s role as a Foster Care Specialist and what drives her passion for working with children and families, read the Q&A below.
Q: What made you choose social work as a career?
Kelli Jo Anderson: I truly believe that families, children, and teens are our future, and without healthy families and children in our communities, society as a whole will be negatively affected. I want to support building a strong and healthy foundation for every person I work with.
Q: Can you describe what it’s like for you to work at KVC?
Kelli: I love working at KVC. There are many opportunities to use my skills to help some of the most amazing and inspiring people. My role challenges me daily to grow and learn new things.
Q: Describe a proud working moment.
Kelli: I have so many proud working moments because youth are just so inspiring. When kids need to be in foster care, we try to have the least amount of disruption for them as possible. Therefore, we try to find a family member or someone they already know to care for them and always try to place siblings together in the same home. I love being able to reunite siblings after they were placed apart and help them achieve permanency together. That’s what this is all about – making sure families are strong, safe and together when possible.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about your job?
Kelli: The most rewarding part of my job is getting to work with kids and families. I like working with foster families and helping them meet the needs of the youth in their care. We work so hard to make sure that a home is supported so that the children feel safe and successful there.
Q: Do you have any advice for the clients you work with?
Kelli: I’d say that patience and perseverance are key to being a great foster or kinship home. Many people want immediate success or are disappointed after initial challenges, but I encourage all foster parents to measure progress in baby steps. It takes time for children who have experienced trauma to learn new, healthy behaviors and adapt to a new situation.
Kelli Jo Anderson is one of the many dedicated employees at KVC Nebraska. She makes a tremendous difference by helping children either safely return home after foster care or find a safe, permanent home.
Learn more about becoming a foster parent or visit the careers page to join our innovative team!