How Does A Foster Care & Adoption Case Manager Help Children And Families?

Feb 01, 2024 - In the News, Foster Care and Adoption


2024 02 02 Article Image

We often talk about the support foster and adoptive families receive from their Case Managers, but if you have never fostered or adopted, you may not know what that means. Jessie Porter is a PCHAS Case Manager in Itasca, Texas. She works with foster families in the community and at The Foster Care Village. We asked Jessie to introduce herself and tell us how (and why) she serves families and kids. See what she had to share:

Why did you become a Case Manager for children in foster care?

I experienced foster care briefly when I was a child, so I have a deep well of personal understanding and empathy. The trauma that leads to foster care has a lasting impact, and it has cultivated in me a profound connection to the struggles these children can endure. I’m committed to positively impacting the lives of these children because I know they are resilient.

After earning my master's degree in child life, I looked for opportunities to work with kids in foster care. A PCHAS Case Manager in Wichita Falls recommended I look at openings within the organization and I was impressed by the agency’s unwavering commitment to ethical practices. I eagerly joined the team as a Case Manager for PCHAS in Itasca three years ago.

How do you support children and families as a Case Manager?

As a case manager, I help families in many ways. I am an advocate, a collaborative problem-solver, and, most importantly, a listener. Advocacy takes on various forms depending on the circumstances at hand. Collaborative problem-solving is a cornerstone of my approach as I actively engage with families and children to navigate challenges together. Moreover, I find immense satisfaction in serving as a compassionate family listener. Foster parents play a pivotal role in guiding children and giving them a positive and loving environment. I understand the significance of being supportive – especially for children who may not have experienced such care before. My role is to help the parents so they can love on and nurture the kids.

How do you build trust with children?

Communication and listening are important for building trust. I regularly spend time one-on-one with each child. During these sessions, I assess their safety and well-being while laying the foundation for a meaningful relationship. Building connections with children is an ongoing effort; I’m always trying to foster a sense of understanding and connection.

2024 02 02 2 Small

Playful engagement is an important tenet of Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®), the model woven into everything we do at PCHAS. I use play to engage kids and incorporate it into my job in many ways. I also build trust with kids and families by helping them get what they need. PCHAS supporters bless our children with gifts each Christmas to ensure the holiday season is extra special. Our team in Itasca has fun sorting through gifts and delivering them to families, and we look forward to hearing about the children’s excitement on Christmas morning.

I also help the kids and their foster parents work on resolving hard things from the past and prepare for the future. For example, I attend court hearings and communicate with their birth parents’ caseworker to have as much information as possible. With good communication and accurate information, I can help alleviate anxieties and increase their feelings of security about what is going on and what might happen next.

What do you want families thinking about foster care and adoption to know?

I believe that everyone has the capacity to love and care for these children. Even if you aren’t sure if you can foster or adopt right now, reach out to get information and start learning. I recommend thoroughly researching and familiarizing yourself with the requirements for becoming a foster parent. As you work through the steps for verification, seize the opportunity to learn. Ask questions and seek understanding. All of this will equip you for the challenges and rewards you may encounter as you welcome children in foster care into your home.

Jessie is an incredible advocate, listener and problem-solver. These are essential traits we find (and admire) in Case Managers at PCHAS. If you are considering fostering or adopting, you need an agency you can trust to handle the details. PCHAS will be with you every step of the way. Connect with a Foster Care & Adoption Guide or Join an Online Info Session to get started.

arrow-lView All