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Springtime is Here!

It’s April, and the kids are excited about things to do outside in the sun and fresh air. It doesn’t have to cost money to do something fun. Here are a few ideas:

  • Take a nature walk and play “I Spy.” (It can help teach them to be aware of their surroundings)
  • Plant Flowers or vegetables in small pots. (Teaches responsibilities and gives you lots of time to listen to what they say)
  • Build a birdhouse – then watch to see who moves in over the spring and summer.
  • Go for a bike ride. Something the whole family can do together. Maybe take a picnic with you.
  • Make your own bubbles, sit on the porch, and listen to the laughter.
  • Play a game of Hide and Seek or tag. A few water balloons are always fun.

It isn’t always about what you do; it is usually just that you do it together. The children we serve have missed out on many simple childhood activities. Show them how fun they can be, and it can take all of you away from the daily grind. Trust us; the giggles and squeals are the best medicine for all involved. Plus, they get some fresh air and a little exercise outside. The most significant gift is the time they get to spend with you.

We at TFI hope you had a Happy Easter! Thank you for all you do!

Kansas Care Provider of the Month

Meet Patsy and Ambrosia Balderas, our care providers of the month. Patsy and Ambrosia have always taken in tough teen boys while providing respite care for any other foster homes that may need it.

One of their foster youths was in a serious car accident in February. Patsy traveled to Liberal, KS where the youth was first taken for medical treatment, then to Wichita, KS where the youth remained a month after the accident due to the severity of his injuries. Patsy has remained by his side throughout it all.

The love and care the Balderas home has for any youth in their home is above and beyond. We are very grateful this youth is making strides on his recovery, and for the foster parents continued support, nurturing and providing for the youth’s medical, emotional, social and developmental needs.

Nebraska Care Provider of the Month

Nebraska welcomes the home of Elani and Cheyenne Hoffman! The same day Elani and Cheyenne received their foster care license from the State of Nebraska, they accepted a long-term respite placement of two male teenagers.

Elani and Cheyenne began their journey to become foster parents this fall and their 2 Labradors were regular guests during Deciding Together classes. Elani’s calm demeanor and Cheyenne’s communication skills are assets they will bring to any placement. The couple is most interested in fostering and guardianship of older youth – which is such a need in Nebraska.

Texas Care Provider of the Month

Danielle Casteel provides a single parent foster home in Graham, Texas. Her motivation is to provide a loving and stable home for a child in need where they can be a child and feel safe and secure.

After becoming a foster parent, Ms. Casteel accepted a newborn baby with medical issues into placement and has been diligent in ensuring the baby is meeting all medical appointments in a timely manner and contributing to her development as recommended by providing her the love and care the baby needs. Ms. Casteel reports she likes to create and designs t-shirt logos on her Cricut machine, and travel, one specific place being Disney World. We are proud to partner with Ms. Casteel to meet the needs of Texas children.

Oklahoma Care Provider of the Month

The Burnham family‘s most recent placement was a sibling set of 3. They treat all the children like they are their own. Understanding the importance of kin, culture, and community, they make sure that they are available to take the children to see their biological family weekly.

They ensure that all the children meet their developmental milestones, even going the extra mile to get a tutor for the oldest child to stay on track. They show interest in what the children want to do, whether doing yoga or participating in gymnastics. They advocate for the needs of the children, and they show genuine love and care and it shows all over their faces. The children have nothing but good things to say about the Burnham family. They are a great example of who a foster parent should be.

Training Corner

Helping Teens before and after Visitation

Children and teens in foster care have court-ordered, regularly scheduled visits with their birth parents, siblings and/or other members of their family, if such visitation is deemed safe for the child. Both physical and emotional safety should be considered. Visitation should be sufficient in frequency…

Need Additional Training?

Check out these April opportunities!


The Recruitment team is in full swing this spring! We have the best foster families and are looking for more families to provide excellent care to kiddos across Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.

As we wrapped up our easter eggs hunts we realized many families attend a local place of Worship. Church families often make great foster parents! Do you belong to a church that needs to learn more about foster care? We would love to have one of our recruiters come and speak with your church. We have different giveaways we can share and we can also do presentations about foster care specific to your area. Please contact your worker if you are interested; we would love to speak to your church family!

Please feel free to join us at these upcoming events:

April 16th Child Abuse Network Superhero Challenge – PostOak Lodge Tulsa, OK
April 22nd Walk against racism – Grand Island, NE

Fund Development

We are excited to bring back our Pittsburg, Kansas Golf Tournament on May 23rd at Crestwood Country Club. We love that the community is coming together to raise money for the children in foster care and the families in the community.

In other news, we have received a few awesome donations recently. We would like to give a shout-out to the community members who have donated recently:

  • The Interact Club at Emporia Middle School held a fundraiser during their lunchtime for several weeks to raise money for the TFI kids in foster care in their community. The group raised $900 selling pop, chips, and candy during lunchtime!
  • Jefferson’s Foundation helped start a clothing closet for local youth by donating money that will go towards clothing racks, shoe racks, hangers and such to get them started!
  • Reser’s Fine Food filled a box with games, art supplies, socks, basketballs and much more to be donated to the PRTF.

Thank you to all of our donors for your love and support!

If you are interested in sponsoring our golf tournament or would like to register a team of four, please contact Sheila Kearney at 785.213.6161 or at

Oklahoma/Texas: Steven Mandeville | 918-728-3378 | 
Kansas/Nebraska: Sheila Kearney | 785-213-6161 | 
Events & Volunteer Coordinator: Libby Hayden | 785-294-6606 |

Happy Anniversary

Thank you for opening your hearts and homes to children in need.

14 Years
Leon & Ryneck Sharp

13 Years
Doug & Marcia Hermesch

10 Years
Jorge Nunez & Destiny Nunez-Munoz

8 Years
John & Robin Whittley

7 Years
James & Rikki Geck

5 Years
Jeremy & Tricia Holliday
Keith & Rhonda Sexton
Ashley Moyer
Christina Simmons
Janine Henry

2 Years
Nicholas & Kayla Choate
Arfan Mohiuddin & April Golliver-Mohiuddin

1 Year
Caroline Sullivan
Jacob & Lauren Ward
Nathan & Bailey Menne
Ryan & Jamie Krueger
Memory Chisum

Every time you make a purchase at Dillons, TFI Family Services can earn money. Please visit or click the picture above and select TFI Family Services as your nonprofit to support youth in foster care.