In the novel, Time to be Earnest, author P.D. James wrote of children: "What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give." This sentiment articulates a guiding principle of the Devereux Therapeutic Foster Care agency that all children, when loved, grow up to give love in return. Conversely, when children are denied love and the security that love provides, they grow up unable to give love. More importantly, they believe they are unworthy of receiving love. The need to be loved in a secure home is universal, but perhaps it is felt more acutely by children who have been removed from their biological homes because of a history of neglect and physical and sexual abuse. These at-risk children have often witnessed unthinkable forms of violence and experienced traumas no child should ever have to endure. When these vulnerable children are taken into protective custody, they become part of a growing pool of children who are in the foster care system. This is when the compassionate leadership of Danielle Imbornone-Gallagher, Regional Manager of Devereux Therapeutic Foster Care, matters so much.
Devereux Therapeutic Foster Care is a not-for-profit agency that "provides specialized foster care services for at-risk children with emotional, developmental and educational needs." As the Regional Manager of this agency, it is Ms. Imbornone-Gallagher's unique responsibility to find homes that can meet the needs of these special children. For Ms. Imbornone-Gallagher, this is more than a job, it is a calling - a charge compelled by a love of children and a conviction that all children deserve to "know what it feels like to be a valued member of a family" - even, and especially, when their lives have already been so difficult. She endeavors to find families who share her conviction and her passion.
Devereux Therapeutic Foster Care is actively seeking families who are willing to open their homes and hearts to a foster child. The standards of this agency are high, but they are upheld to protect both the children and the prospective families. The application, assessment and training process is involved, but is done with sensitivity, expert training and constant support.
The foster families who work with this agency are given extraordinary back-up, as well as many other benefits. Along with the ongoing training and 24/7 support from qualified professionals, foster parents are given a $350 tax-free weekly stipend, company-paid liability insurance, 8 paid respite days and a $1,000 sign-on bonus. Regional Manager Imbornone-Gallagher knows that the strains of this kind of commitment cannot be carried alone, and that these children - and their loving families - deserve every system in place to make this a positive, healthy and rewarding experience for all.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a foster parent, please contact Devereux Therapeutic Foster Care at 734-9680 or visit their website at www.devereuxma.org for a full listing of eligibility criteria and services. Call today to make a difference in the life of a child.