OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Fostering children who have a disability is not always easy, but one Kansas foster mother says it’s more than worth it. In this month’s Thursday’s Child we introduce you to not only her but one of the children she’s opened her heart and home to.
Barbie Klinedinste-Shields says in her years of being a foster mom she’s cared for around 400 children. She says she never requests to move children out of her home and God has given her the gift of patience with all kinds of kids.
One of them is 15-year-old Taniya. She hopes you may be able to love her the way she has for nearly a decade.
For a girl who loves to paint, The Ceramic Café in Overland Park is ideal.
“Welcome to Ceramic Café and we are delighted to have you,” Ceramic Café owner, Sara Thompson told Taniya.
Taniya and her foster mom love to be creative together. The teen went back and forth between painting a dog or a horse. Animals are one of her favorite things. Eventually she decided a horse is what she wanted.
Shields has cared for Taniya for nearly eight years and loves her very much — especially her fun spirit. Just like the colors she picked for her ceramic horse, Lucy.
Her foster home will not be Taniya’s home forever and Klinedinste-Shields says she would love for her to be happy and safe as she gets older.
“She needs constant supervision, and she needs constant care. So, she needs a lot of one-on-one attention,” Klinedinste-Shields said.
Taniya has developmental delays, behavioral challenges, and speaks softly. However, she has a smile that lights up a room.
“It would be great for her. It would be a great opportunity for her and to be able to have a permanent place to call home,” Klinedinste-Shields said.
Klinedinste-Shields says she understands Taniya is a big responsibility and would like to see more support for not only children with disabilities in the foster care system, but families post-adoption who care for them.
“It’s a lot to take on and it’s, me personally, I feel that we need to work with legislature to get changes to help kids have permanency with special needs children in the state of Kansas,” Klinedinste-Shields said.
She says children like Taniya deserve patience, care and love.
“My hope is that Taniya can just be happy and well taken care of,” Klinedinste-Shields said.
Data for children with disabilities in the foster care system is difficult to track. For some kids, even getting specific diagnosis isn’t easy. However, there is something we can do. Supporting children like Taniya through fostering, advocacy, and even adoption.
Children right here in Missouri and Kansas need a safe place to be and to know what love feels like. Together we can help. Thank you for supporting Thursday’s Child because all children deserve a family.
Want to adopt her?
If you’re interested in learning more about how to adopt Tamiya, please get in touch Jenna Brown the Director of Adoption Services for KVC Kansas at firstname.lastname@example.org or (913) 229-2288.
Interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent in Missouri?
- Cornerstones of Care specializes in Standard and Career Foster Licenses at 1-855-SRV-KIDS (855-778-5437) or visit their website.
- Crittenton Children’s Center (Saint Lukes) focuses on medical homes, homes that can accommodate sibling groups, and homes for older youth (age 12 and up).
- If you are interested in learning more about this organization please reach out to Virginia Fatseas at (816) 986-5209
- Missouri Alliance offers elevated needs training (Level A & B) to our Resource Families. They also train our foster parents in TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention) as well as SOS (Signs of Safety).
- If you are interested in learning more about this organization please reach out to Karie Scott-Roark email: KRoark@MA-CF.org.
- Great Circle Behavioral Health for Children & Families does foster care licensing for prospective foster parents.
- If you are interested in learning more about this organization please reach out to Jaqueline Brown at (816) 255-1503 or Jacqueline.Brown@greatcircle.org
Interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent in Kansas?
- KVC Kansas
- To become an adoptive parent you can find more information by calling (888) 655-5500.
- To become a foster parent you can sign up for a class or learn more through their website.
- Cornerstones of Care
- To become an adoptive or foster parent you can contact Denise Gibson at (913) 209-5923 or email her at email@example.com.
Want to see more children who are looking for a family?
Want to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for foster children in the metro?
According to CASA’s website, a court appointed special advocate make a life-changing different for children who have experienced abuse or neglect. Each volunteer is appointed by a judge to advocate for a child’s best interest in court.
Their volunteers help judges develop a fuller picture of each child’s life. Their advocacy enables judges to make the most well-informed decision for each child.
- Jackson County CASA
- Clay County CASA: To volunteer with Clay County CASA, contact the Program Director, Ashley Zugelter, at 816-736-8400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- CASA of Lafayette & Saline Counties: To volunteer with 15th Judicial Circuit CASA, contact the Executive Director, Robin McGinnity Connelly, at 660-259-2590 or email email@example.com. You can also visit their Facebook page.
- CASA of Wyandotte & Johnson Counties
- CASA of Atchison & Leavenworth Counties: To volunteer contact the Executive Director, Kelly Meyer, at (913) 651-6440 or email her at Lv1casa@sbcglobal.net.
- Douglas County CASA: To volunteer contact the Executive Director, Diana Frederick, at (785) 832-5172 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to reach out to Sherae? For business inquiries or questions that are unable to be answered through this article, you can reach out to Sherae Honeycutt, the host of Thursday’s Child, by email at email@example.com.