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The Neville Family
Barbara Neville is a 59 year old single mother living in Saint Albans, New York. She has been a foster parent for over 20 years. After retiring from her employment with the city, Barbara became a certified MAPP Trainer for foster and adoptive parents. She is currently the president of her foster parent association, serves on the advisory board of the “Circle of Support”, and has a leadership role as an anchor parent for city-wide post-adoption family support. But remarkably, she just can’t seem to beat her kids at the game of Monopoly!
Barbara has built her family through her role as a foster parent. With the exception of her 2 oldest birth children, each child has come into her family while in foster care. Her four adopted children and two foster children have many “special needs” according to Barbara. They participate in weekly therapy, night school, special education activities, and specialized medical appointments. Barbara says that when it comes to coordinating family activities, “Heavy structure works best, but sometimes I look the other way. I know where my kids came from.” It has not been easy; Barbara has relied on the support of her family and friends. The children refer to their primary respite caregiver as “grandmom” and Barbara is very appreciative of this help from her trusted friend. “Sometimes she stays here for days at a time” she says with gratitude.
Transitioning from foster parent to adoptive parent wasn’t easy, especially when Barbara didn’t get the post-adoption support she was expecting. “When the judge finalized the adoption, I had no reason to think I would not have the support. My information should have been given to the agency. They should have contacted me! I didn’t know where to go.” Barbara anticipated that her new family would receive intensive case management services but that did not happen. Through these difficult experiences, she gained incredible emotional strength.
Barbara now supports other adoptive families by offering her knowledge and understanding. She believes strongly that the best recruitment resource for new adoptive and foster parents is current adoptive and foster parents. She continues to advocate for services to be readily available for families facing issues related to adoption.
Media who would like to interview the Neville family, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-200-4005.