February is a month that has many very special personal meanings to me, however, for many people, it is a month of gloomy and cold weather, and still trying to readjust after the holidays (and more recently, COVID outbreaks). If the winter blues are getting to you, please know help is out there. If you have another insurance carrier, please check with them for recommendations and coverage. If the winter blues are getting to you, please know help is out there. Behavioral health support for Soonercare patients can be found in the button below, or you can check your community mental health center.

With February being Black History Month, it gives my family the extra opportunity to focus on our children's culture, history, and how they can make a mark on the world. On January 1, 2022 there were 1,179 black children out of the 6,881 children in care in Oklahoma. It is our responsibility to help the children overcome any stereotypes. According to Juvenile Law Center's website, "Black children are around twice as likely to be placed in foster care as white kids. Because black kids are already subject to disproportionate rates of school discipline and criminalization, being a foster youth compounds this risk. Foster youth, particularly girls, are targeted by sex traffickers, and the criminalization of sex work can funnel these victims of modern day slavery into the criminal justice system." We need to do our part in not only educating ourselves, but everyone around us and particularly the children. The month of February is a good start, but the support needs to carry on throughout the year. 

As I mentioned earlier, February has many personal meanings to me. One thing most people think of when thinking of February is Valentine's Day. We have a very special opportunity again this year for Valentine's Day, so please stay tuned! Our heart logo is intentionally designed to represent the many pieces, programs, efforts, individuals, and the entire community to support the children in our state's child welfare system. 

Lastly, our team is changing up a bit. Starting February 1st, Amy Jenson will take over the Community Engagement Director responsibilities as Evan is moving on to another organization. Evan has done a tremendous amount of work for us over the past year and a half, and we so appreciate him. Amy was formerly our Mobile Connections Coordinator, and is just changing roles within Fostering Connections. Mobile Connections is still a functioning and key program within the organization and will still operate as before. Be sure and read the short piece from Amy in this newsletter! 

Forever connecting hearts, 

Chris Siemens
Executive Director
Donations are accepted Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am - 5pm
and the 1st Saturday of the month from 10am - 2pm.
Staff Changes: Amy Jenson
Amy Jenson was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She studied at the University of Arkansas (Go Hogs!) where she met her husband. She moved to Oklahoma State University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in multimedia journalism.

She spent nearly a decade working in TV news, but dipped her toes in the nonprofit world and saw the needs in our community. Amy came on as our mobile coordinator in 2020 and helped us successfully launch our mobile resource unit. The unit has served nearly 1,000 families in 7 months and will continue to grow!

Amy is now taking on a more familiar role, as our Community Engagement Director.
Mobile Connections travels monthly to Okmulgee, Osage/Pawnee, Wagoner/Muskogee, Rogers, Creek and rural Tulsa County.
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Address: 3326 E 51st Street
Tulsa, OK 74135
Phone: (918) 742-4947