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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Special 2010 PCSAO Volunteer Recognitions

  Left to right: Lisa Dickson and Paula Kyle, both foster care alumni

Over the years, Lisa Dickson has been such a wonderful and fresh force in the world of child welfare. Her tireless energy and willingness to promote the cause of better policy, practice and supports for our foster children an youth has been unparalleled. Lisa has particularly invested in supporting our youth in their higher educational pursuits, facilitating the Ohio Reach activities.

In her role as FCAA-OH Communications Chair, Lisa actively spreads the word that there are other foster alums, and welcomes participation by all – in fact she is coordinating three Thanksgiving Dinners this year, to be held regionally so more youth and adults can attend and enjoy. And of course Lisa has provided much insight to professionals about the trauma of foster care, and how to tap into the resiliency and potential of our youth.

Finally, many youth have felt personal value, worth and confidence due to Lisa’s personal interaction with them, and it has allowed them to do things they might not have had the courage to do without your support.

Paula Kyle first contacted PCSAO to review a manuscript she was in the process of getting published – sounded like Hollywood activities. On the Edge of Unthinkable is an engrossing page turner about the author’s experience in foster care.

And the perspective was a surprise – it was not a heartbreaker over the tragedy of the child welfare experience, but an inspiration through the light shown on those child welfare professionals and a loving foster family who made the difference in this person’s life.

Many of you will remember Judith Goodhand, who started as a child welfare worker in Knox County, spent time at Lucas Children Services, was later the Director at the Cuyahoga County agency, before serving as a national consultant with the Annie E. Casey Foundation – she is featured fondly in this story.

Thanks to Paula Kyle, many child welfare professionals realize the value of their work, and the importance of excellence and dedication to see that every child and youth we touch has permanent and sustaining connections. Paula has since become a speaker in great demand, her book has had multiple printings, and it has been drafted as a screenplay. I guess it may be Hollywood time after all!

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