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Connecticut Alliance for Foster and Adoptive Families

CAFAF Staff“Congratulations to the Connecticut Alliance for Foster and Adoptive Families for being the first agency to have staff receive the Child Welfare League of America 100th Anniversary Promoting Leaders for the Future Award. The staff who are the award recipients are as follows:

Support: Joseph Montalvo
Training: Jinnel D’Hereaux
Advocacy: Debra Candelora
Recruitment: Raymond Ortiz
Retention: Jennifer Rivera


Raymond Ortiz:  The Book I selected is Saying Goodbye to a Baby by Patricia Roles, here are a few reasons why. A lot of people don’t take into consideration how the parent who had to give a child away feels or what kind of mental effects it may have caused them. Whether it be because of money, drugs or wanting that child to have a better life. I feel I could connect with the book not only because I am a parent but I also am a former Foster child. The cover of the book alone attracts the reader, due to the dark colors, the water, and the woman sitting staring out causes a sense of mystery and a form of suspense that makes you want to read.

Debra Candelora:  Working with Children and Trauma is close to my heart. I have 7 adopted children with their own ways to deal with trauma. This has been such a growing experience for our family in understanding how to better support all of their needs. I take every opportunity to educate day care providers, teachers and especially foster and adoptive parents on this subject. I am intrigued with the effects on our brains trauma has. Understanding the effects doesn’t make this any easier, but it certainly helps us to be more compassionate and not to give up on them.

Jennifer Rivera:  The publication that I would be most interested in reading is “Saying Goodbye to a Baby.” It would be interesting to read the parents point of view while making the decision to give up their children. We often hear the foster parents and adoptive parents thoughts on the reason why they foster and adopt but, what makes a biological parent say “ this child would be better off with someone else”?

Joseph Montalvo:  Working With Traumatized Children, Third Edition – Companion Workbook.  The book offers insight and competencies for child advocates and professionals but also for the caregivers who live with traumatized children in their homes. It highlights the importance of relationship building, parenting, and the self-awareness needed to promote the healing of these children and their familial system. Fully understanding the unique trauma symptoms that these children’s minds and bodies endure is essential to anyone working or living with hurt children.

Jinnel D’Hereaux: Saying Goodbye to a Baby, The Birthparent's Guide to Loss and Grief in Adoption and to Adoption Reunion book could be a life-line to saving a birthparent from unforgiving thoughts and separation anxiety.
Surrendering your parental rights does not come easy to some although the focus would be “what’s in the best interest of the child” the decision is life changing for both parent(s) and child.

There is no future to fore-tell if the outcome of the decision a birthparent makes are the very best and this could be a great burden of pain throughout their lives.  There is grief, pain, anger, anxiety, depression, separation issues, the “not knowing” and then there is shame.  This publication could help impact someone who have, and are experiencing, a crisis such as this and change their entire view and experience on saying that final goodbye to their baby.

Please let me know if you need anything further from us!  And thank you again to CWLA for the award and the recognition!

Margaret M. Doherty
Executive Director
Connecticut Alliance of Foster & Adoptive Families
2189 Silas Deane Highway, Ste. 2
Rocky Hill, CT 06067