How Finally Home Supports Families
For more than 15 years, Finally Home has been supporting foster, kinship, and adoptive families. Throughout that time, we’ve continued to expand our support and build out additional tools and resources to encourage caregivers and help children heal and thrive.
It all started with Finally Home’s co-founders, Mark and Kristin Orphan.
When Mark and Kristin made the decision to foster, it was the culmination of several years of prayer and consideration. They entered their training with the intention of international adoption. Then one night the adoption agency leader shared about the need for foster parents. It was a huge shift in perspective.
While certainly NOT a simple road, their reasons for choosing international adoption initially had to do with a fear over ongoing connection with biological family members and the child welfare system. For Mark and Kristin, foster care represented a loss of control and privacy. They were much more right about the pressure caused by both of those things than they could have ever been imagined. However, Mark and Kristin couldn’t deny the fact that they were being called by God to foster-adoption, and that awareness has been an anchor through the wildest storms of their lives.
The lack of resources available to them during this experience is ultimately what led them to start Finally Home. They wanted to share what they had found and implemented in their home to help build healthy homes where individuals can heal so families can thrive.
More than 15 years later, the way Finally Home serves families has continued to expand. What started as serving families through in-person Family Strengthening Conferences in Northern Colorado has grown into opportunities to train virtually and to also support churches and agencies rather than only individual families.
Learn more about the variety of ways we share our proprietary research-based programs, and please pass along to any families you know could use some help.
Family Strengthening Conferences
When it comes to training and support for foster, kinship, and adoptive families, it became clear quickly that in order for parents and caregivers to be able to show up and take it all in, there needed to be a place where their children could be taken care of as well.
Family Strengthening Conferences take place on Saturdays. Parents and caregivers receive five hours of conversation, training, and problem solving to help the children in their homes heal. They also learn how to take care of their own mental health to be the best versions of themselves, especially in stressful situations.
“Came to the event feeling depleted and left feeling rejuvenated with more tools in my tool belt. Now I don’t feel so alone in the fostering process.” – Sherry
While parents and caregivers connect and learn, children and youth participate in SuperHero Academy or Solid Rock Students.
Children (infants through 5th grade) participate in our SuperHero Academy. They get to know Finally Home’s SuperHeroes, who are learning important lessons about resiliency. Trained volunteers guide children through engaging SuperHero-themed crafts, activities, music, and small group discussions.
Solid Rock Students (middle and high school students) do short service projects, discuss important life skills, and go on a fun field trip. Past outings have included experiences like rock climbing, sports games, equine-assisted therapy, ropes courses, hikes, cooking classes, and more.
The staff and volunteers supporting the children have been trained to address the unique needs of these young attendees. This allows parents to fully immerse themselves in the training, knowing their children are well taken care of.
Online and Virtual Workshops
COVID forced us into online offerings so that we could continue connections with the families Finally Home serves. Since then, Finally Home has been working to offer strategic virtual training to reach more and more families nationwide through on-demand videos.
In 2023, we ran a 4-week virtual session that shared a combination of on-demand videos with live instruction and Q&A. In 2024, we plan to hold 3 more of these 4-week sessions. All of our videos will also be published for parents and caregivers to watch when they need them.
Learning the strategies to better communicate and heal through trauma is one thing. Implementing and practicing them on a regular basis is entirely another. Our workbooks and resources are available through the Finally Home store.
- Toolkit for BIG Emotions:
Children and youth who have experienced trauma often feel big emotions. The first step in being able to safely work through overwhelming emotions is to name them. We created a Finally Home Toolkit for BIG Emotions for children and for youth. Our Toolkits equip parents, teachers, and caregivers to help young people correctly identify their emotions and establish calming strategies. Each Toolkit contains a Family Guidebook, Quick Reference Guide, and a variety of concrete items that assist children in emotional regulation. Items in each kit are tailored to the two different age groups in both English and Spanish.
- Children ages 4 -12
- Youth age 13 – 17
- SuperHero Activity Book and SuperHero Coloring Book
These tools help introduce children to our SuperHeroes. Through our SuperHeroes, children and youth learn how to better communicate their emotions, process them, and create strategies to self-regulate them.
Have some SuperHero fun with your children by downloading our coloring book and activity guide.
Individualized Family Support
At Finally Home, we understand that each family situation is unique. Even each placement is unique, bringing different challenges and trauma to the forefront. As Finally Home has grown, our dedication to individualized support has not wavered.
In 2023, we launched the Revive and Thrive Family Support Initiative. This provides support for families needing access to therapeutic mental health services but are struggling with the process, need financial assistance to pay for it, and/or can benefit from tools and training.
As we started to see more and more families in our community desperate for this support, we knew we needed to step in. This Initiative supports families in three ways.
- Help with researching support options. Our team is available to help research and reach out to potential providers, negotiate discounts on services, and be a listening ear throughout the process. Often one of the most challenging things for a family is having to relive the trauma over and over with each interview of a potential provider. Our trained team supports families in this effort.
- Help with building a funding coalition. This includes coming up with a financial strategy that sets the families up for success. We assist families in building a funding community around them that includes their own monetary investment and setting up a funding platform to allow their church, friends, family, and community at large to support them. The final piece is a financial investment from Finally Home. When we help families build their funding coalition, they are more likely to secure the financial resources they need for the care that is necessary.
- Access to Finally Home’s tools and training. All families are given the opportunity to participate in any and all of our online or in-person trainings and workshops for free. This allows the caregivers to get the tools they need to support the work that is being done. Families also receive our Toolkits for BIG Emotions and any other resources we have that will support the child in their work.
Finally Home’s Director of Family Support connects families with peer counselors, community services, and take-home resources. Whether a family needs to talk to someone with lived experience who has “been there” or be directed to a crucial tangible need, we invite families to reach out to email@example.com.
To take advantage of any of these opportunities, please email us or visit our events page for the most up-to-date live workshops that are happening both in Northern Colorado and virtually.