Issue 2, 2021
• Celebrating Adoptive Families
at the 13th Annual Gala
• Missing Children in the State of Missouri
• Volunteer Opportunitites
• Open Arms and Active Support
From the desk of DeAnna Alonso,
President and CEO
The national news was overwhelmed by missing operated from command posts in Jackson County
persons cases, especially surrounding the Gabby and St. Louis City, focusing on Kansas City, St.
Petito case. Recently a missing persons case landed Louis, and Springfield metro areas. The operation
in Missouri’s news feed, too. resulted in successfully locating 24 youth, ages 13
In August of 2019, The Office on Trafficking in to 17, who were missing from care. Five individuals
Persons (OTIP) doubled down its efforts alongside were arrested and 23 additional investigations were
the Department of Health and Humans Services opened, including four investigations of human
Office of Investigation in a massive search coined trafficking. OTIP provided technical assistance to
“Operation HOPE or Helping Oppressed People support the effort (Office on Trafficking in Persons).”
Escape.” The Office of Trafficking in Persons The task force singled out 94 missing children from
explains on their website, “Law enforcement a specific foster care missing child report dated July
Know the RISK
On October 5th of this year, I along with several
49 of 59 children who go child advocates from the Office of the Child
Advocate, Missouri Coalition for Children’s Agencies
missing had at least one of the and Cornerstones of Care testified in front of the
following risk factors: Missouri House Committee on Children and Families.
Over a two-hour interval, the discussion focused
18 children: on a federal report released from the federal Office
of the Inspector General (HHS) which highlighted
Current placement in distressing data regarding Missouri kids in foster
a group or residential care. The report states in the review section, “In
home 2019, 978 children went missing at some point from
foster care in Missouri.” A number which shocked
23 children: child advocates to the core. Even more, the report
emphasized the volume of the problem by stating,
No family visitation plan “In the 59 cases we reviewed in detail, Missouri
rarely demonstrated attempts to reduce children’s
23 children: risk of going missing. The majority of the children
who went missing (49 of the 59 children) had
Six or more foster care risk factors associated with a higher risk of going
placements missing. Missouri rarely provided these children
with services to reduce their risk of going missing
37 children: from care— only 7 of the 49 case files indicated that
children received such services.”
Prior incidents of going
missing During the House Committee, a lack of
documentation seemed to emerge as a primary
impetus to the scope of the report. The report goes
on to say Missouri failed to follow guidelines, “DSS
didn’t follow federal and state laws, policies and
procedures before and during the time the children
went missing.” (Pivoney, News Tribune)
During the Committee hearing, CMFCAA was able report and immediately begin rolling out strategies
to suggest several possible solutions. One of the involving community partners and agencies who
immediate solutions would be identification and serve on the front line.
protection packets provided by one of Missouri’s Missouri Family Resource Centers are ready to
longstanding partners, MOChip. MOChip provides assist the Missouri Department of Social Services to
comprehensive identification packages complete implement solutions and recommendations. Even
with a profile picture, fingerprints, dental implant, one child missing is far too many. Four children
DNA swab, and a USB drive with the same were identified as being trafficked from the OIG
downloadable information about a child. report. The secondary trauma increases adversity
for our foster youth and likely will take additional
When our children joined our family in 2018, years to heal.
we showed up at a MOChip designation site to
complete packets for all our kids. We knew if Walking with you,
anything dreadful were to happen, we would DeAnna Alonso MSW, CEO
at least have kits in the safe to provide law
enforcement and even speed up the search process. Missouri Family Resource Centers
Thankfully, we never had to use the packets! are ready to assist the Missouri
The packets reduced stress for our family and Department of Social Services
others. The packets are not free of course but my to implement solutions and
recommendation to the Committee was to allow recommendations. Even one
the Family Resource Centers to work with MOChip child missing is far too many
to provide three packets to every foster child: one
to the Children’s Division, one to the placement Sources:
provider and a final packet to the biological
families. Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Office on Trafficking in Persons. “OTIP Partners
Association has begun work on this project as a with HHS Office of Investigations to Locate Missing
catalyst to offer hope and a solution to change the Foster Children in Missouri.” The Administration for
outcomes of the report. Children and Families, 2019, www.acf.hhs.gov/otip/
As important as the longer-term strategy, is a
level-up in Missouri’s “critical incident” policy and Pivoney, Ryan. “Missouri lawmakers ‘furious’ over
statute. In Missouri, critical incidents only identify foster care report.” News Tribune, 2021,
specific events: www.newstribune.com/news/local/story/2021/
“The Critical Event Protocol is a process for dss-says-lack-of-documentation-at-heart-of-
the reporting, reviewing and documenting missing-children-cases/891660/.
the Division’s response to significant events
involving a child, such as child deaths, suicides Robertson, Martin, et al. “Critical Event Studies:
or serious physical injury as well as other Issues and Perspectives.” Event Management, vol.
circumstances requiring critical event response 22, no. 6, 2018, pp. 865–74. Crossref, doi:10.3727/152
(Robertson et al. 873).” 599518x15346132863193.
We suggest that a missing child case be enough
to rise to the level of “critical incident.” Of course,
this will likely add a fiscal note due to the increase
in “critical incident” calls regarding Missouri foster
children who are missing. However, the immediate
cost will outweigh the negative outcomes of
trafficking, drug abuse, kidnapping and more.
Foster children are a vulnerable population
and under the care, custody and control of
Missouri’s child welfare system. We must take the
recommendations seriously regarding the OIG
CMFCAA would like to thank the donors, supporters,
and volunteers who made the 13th annual Gala held
on November 4th, 2021 a huge success. Over 400
were in attendance at the Capital Plaza in Jefferson
City for the event that featured four local adoptive
families. The Faulstich, Knollmeyer, Hamblin, and
Kelly families (pictured on the cover) shared their
stories of adversity and joy as they welcomed
children into their home . The program also featured
three local musicians, plus live and silent auctions.
As a special surprise, Healthy Blue Missouri donated
$50,000 to CMFCAA at the Gala to help rebuild the
playground that burned in a fire last month.
A very special thank you to our
Child Champion Sponsors
Child Advocate Sponsors
Advocating for the Kids and Myesha
their Caregivers Adoptable
A recent story from our Navigators...
Grandma has assumed the care of two grand-daughters for Birth Year: 2007
most if not all of their lives. She has provided for them using Child ID: 163007
her income, without the support of their biological parents or
support from the state or community. Take a moment to learn about
Myesha! Listening to music is sure to
However not long ago she was diagnosed with cancer and put her in a good mood. The perfect
has been unable to work. Being of strong values, morals and combination of activities for Mysesha
ethics it was and has been difficult for her to ask for and includes drawing while listening to
accept assistance from outside agencies and even learning her favorite songs. She is also keen on
of these resources has been tough. Being able to educate styling her hair and making sure her
herself on these resources was one thing but taking the steps nails are painted and looking pretty.
to apply and and go through the process to ask for assistance Those who know Myesha best remark
was another. that she is a sweet child who thrives
on one-on-one time with adults.
The KN assisted this prideful grandma both, emotionally and
physically in understanding that these services are designed As a sixth grader, she is doing well
for individuals in her position. The KN assisted grandma in school.
in applying for HUD, speaking to her existing landlord, the
housing authority, and maintenance crew for the apartment Myesha would do best in a family in
complex in order to have appropriate repairs made for which she is the youngest child in the
the apartment to pass the HUD inspection. Grandma was home; however, her caseworker will
approved for HUD after several long months, reducing her consider all family types. Financial
monthly rent $367, leaving her to pay only $83 a month. assistance may be available for
KN had previously been able reach out and receive
community assistance from anonymous donors to assist with For Missouri children, both
rent the 2 months prior to this Grandma being approved homestudied and non-homestudied
for HUD. There was a mis-calculation in the payment as the Missouri families are encouraged to
grandma believed she was going to be behind and charged inquire; only homestudied families
a large late fee. This resulted in her rent being payed in full from other states should do so.
through December of 2021.
For more information on becoming
KN worked with Meramec an adoptive family, please email
Regional Planning [email protected] or
Commission (Phelps call 800-554-2222.
and Cuba Place 5
Volunteer Supervisor: Chase Wyckwood
Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association welcomed Chase
Wyckwood to our team as the Volunteer Supervisor in July 2021. In only three
months, Chase is making a positive impact on our growing organization.
Hello! My name is Chase Wyckwood and I am beyond Those ideals blossomed in grad school where my work
stoked to join the team at CMFCAA as Volunteer focused on cultural competence, social justice,
Supervisor! My family (wife, son, brother, inlaws) share and the role of community and volunteers in creating
in that joy considering we come as a team! and fostering education and opportunity. In 2013, I
graduated and shortly after my brother entered the
I was raised by my grandparents and community Foster Care system in Michigan. A long journey later
members in Arkansas where the seeds for my he is back with our family as of April!
community engagement and volunteerism passions
were planted. My personal connection with the mission of CMFCAA
combined with that passion has me eager and
Those seeds got plenty of water in college through my excited to get rolling! I look forward most of all
professional and personal experiences as a student to meeting the current, and future, communities
leader, advocate, and ally. supporting our programs!
After college I spent a year serving communities Join our Team
primarily in and around California and Louisiana with
AmeriCorps NCCC. The light shed by these endeavors Full Time AmeriCorp Vistas
nurtured personal growth and formulated the ideals (40 hours/week for one year)
and values I hold close. • Communications & Marketing
• Funding & Development
#HardCorps Volunteers • Grant Development
• Outreach Specialist
Since 2017, AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Benefits
Service to America) has supported CMFCAA and
its initiatives across our service area! Thousands Living Allowance-Members receive a modest bi-weekly
of hours of service have no doubt contributed to living allowance to cover basic expenses.
the accomplishments of our organization. Are you
ready to be a part of that success story? Currently, Professional Development Training-Members have the
CMFCAA has four open AmeriCorps VISTA opportunity to attend in-person and virtual training to
positions open. learn how to be a community development change agent.
You can view and apply for any of these by Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE)-AmeriCorps VISTA is
following the steps below: the only AmeriCorps program that allows members to
earn federal non-competitive eligibility, giving members
Visit My.Americorps.gov and click on Search an edge in the federal hiring process.
Listings below the log-in information.
Program Type: AmeriCorps VISTA End of Service Award- Members can choose between
State: Missouri a Segal Education Award (valued at approx. $6,000)
Program Name: CMFCAA to pay for a range of education expenses or a $1,800
Check out all of our current openings.
“We have to recognize that there Lincoln essential role in building a strong
cannot be relationships unless University has been a volunteer relationship between
there is commitment, unless there CMFCAA and MU.
is loyalty, unless there is love, partner in our cause, epitomizing
patience, persistence.” – Cornell loyalty and love, for many years. Columbia College
West Our renewed agreement for
discounted housing offered to and CMFCAA have just recently
I believe Dr. West captured the those serving as AmeriCorps VISTA engaged in mutual support
ideals of relationship building members at CMFCAA sets our initiative to provide off-site part-
perfectly across a sweeping organization’s positions apart from time positions in community
spectrum. I also believe no many other non-profit agencies service realms for students
population is more deserving and in Missouri and nationally. With participating in the Federal
in need of the aforementioned Social Work interns at multiple Work Study program. The staff
than foster and adoptive youth. sites, service-learning volunteers from Human Resources were
When it comes to developing the at The Trunk Clothing Closet, phenomenal and visited our
professional relationships and packing Begin Again Backpacks locations visibly wearing the lenses
partnerships necessary to fulfill the on campus, or individuals serving of change agents! Not only were
mission of Central Missouri Foster as members of our Board of three new positions approved, but
Care and Adoption Association Directors, Lincoln University for the first time, these positions
(CMFCAA), commitment, patience faculty, staff, and students have were approved for an organization
and persistence are at the core of been true champions for foster, with locations outside of Columbia.
our success. We can proudly say adoptive and kinship families. This extension of trust illuminates
that our current and developing Columbia College’s commitment
collaborations with institutions of The University of to our vision for the future, and
Higher Education have no doubt Missouri has also been their desire to be an active part
exceeded this mark. Columbia of solutions.
College, Lincoln University, and The pivotal to the success of our
University of Missouri showed up programs, especially in terms These Institutions of Higher
to the table, passionately prepared of providing the much-needed Education are quintessential
to help us meet the needs of those volunteer support for our Direct supports. Without their help, the
we serve. Services, Fundraising, and Family challenges would be greater and
the successes fewer. From all of
Development departments. This us at CMFCAA, we say thank you!
semester alone, MU has And if you are reading this at a
supported us with nearly college or university and want to
50 volunteers through know how your school can help,
the Office of please contact Chase Wyckwood,
Service Learning. Volunteer Supervisor at Chase@
Research teams, mofosteradopt.com or by phone at
youth mentors, 573-691-9001.
all played an
Back to School
CMFCAA’s Direct Services team spent time in July and
August gearing up and planning for Back to School
season! This is one of the busiest times of the year as we
prepare to give away hundreds of notebooks, backpacks,
pens and pencils, and more to our foster, adoptive, and
kinship children and families.
The Back to School Bash events were held in Rolla,
Columbia, and Jefferson City in July and August. This
year we packed back packs and distributed supplies to
over 400 kiddos throughout the region.
The Direct Services team is so thankful to the other staff
and our volunteers for helping us pull off these events so
that our families could be better prepared to go back to
school this fall.
CMFCAA’s Direct Services team is beyond excited
to announce that The Trunk Clothing Closet is
now open to foster, adoptive, and kinship families!
The Trunk is currently open by appointment only
so please contact Christal Jones at christal@
mofosteradopt.com. The Direct Services team has
been working diligently to wash, organize, and stock
clothing donations at the Trunk Clothing Closet so
it will be ready for our foster, adoptive, and kinship
families to get what they need. Thank you to all who
donated and volunteered to make this possible.
Also, if you would like to help our staff in the
clothing closet with organization and setup, please
consider volunteering! We rely on our faithful
volunteers to help us manage the process at our
Ttohoaunrkdeydoicuated The Trunk Clothing Closet
2701 W. Main St.
Jefferson City, MO 65109
We could NOT do this without you.
30 Days to Family® Specialist, Lynn Burnside Started with a Bang.
Talk about someone who values family ready for transition. Lynn has followed
and keeping kids connected! Lynn recently up with the family to make sure
provided 30 Days to Family® services for things are going well and the family
a ten-year-old child. This was Lynn’s very reports things are going very well.
first case. It was opened and closed within When family connections like this
15 days. Lynn was able to help connect occur, it helps significantly reduce the
a child to her family within 72 hours of trauma a child experiences in foster
the case being opened. Lynn not only care. That family bond is critical to
helped connect this child to her family a child when they are experiencing
but was able to transport the child to the the upheaval of being removed from
home and help solidify a strong family a parent or caregiver. Lynn is doing
connection. Lynn worked with the family incredible work with 30 Days to Family®.
to make sure the home was prepared and
Tamara Fish and Leslie In August the 30 Days® to Family staff decorated
Higgins working to Cole County Children’s Division supervised
assemble chairs for the
visiting room at the Cole They added updated seating, colorful artwork
County Children’s Division and rugs to help add some warmth to the space.
Anything that can help make the visits be more
10 comfortable and relaxed for children and family
members is a plus.
The Central Missouri Foster Care
& Adoption Association officially
welcomes Reece Treasure to the
Board of Directors! Congratulations,
Reece! We are excited to build better
outcomes for kids in hard places.
Here’s a little bit about Reece: “I’m a
recruiter for Veterans United Home
Loans, the nation’s largest provider of
VA home loans and recently named
#33 on Fortune 100’s Best Companies
to Work For.
Outside of work, I enjoy hanging out
with my pup, Luna, or hitting the
gym. I’m a sucker for some 2000’s
throwback music or a good black
bean burger! Most importantly, I enjoy
meeting new people, learning about
their goals and where they envision
their career going, hence why I am so
passionate about recruitment!”
Family Development Testimonials
STARS CAREGIVER involved, not as detailed as what we learned
“The thing I learned was that there are so many “We learned a lot about how to support the
resources that you can reach out to in order to get natural parents.”
answers to things you help with. You aren’t alone in “They gave real life scenarios which really
your journey and chances are someone has already give you an idea of how to properly handle
been through whatever problem might arise.” situations when it’s time.”
“What I liked most about the training was how
knowledgeable both trainers were, they were CPR TRAINING
always very positive and made everyone feel very
comfortable. They were always honest and let us “We are so excited to finish our license for
know all the issues we could potentially face but also our home and know that this is another
showed us the outcome of being able to make an steppingstone to completion.”
impact on children’s lives.” “I worked in the healthcare field years ago and
remember most of it, but it was a nice refresher
STARS especially with a focus on children.”
“The class was small and that helped to feel less
“The training was so helpful, and it gives me a stressed about testing in front of other.”
sense of peace knowing that there are so many “Hands on training helped me understand
people, I can reach out to that are willing to the material and I liked having extra time to
encourage and help you when you need it.“ practice.”
“It was new information for me, and I feel like I
LEVEL A will be able to use this in my home.”
“This will help me understand and fight for my Central Missouri Stats
kid’s rights and the supports they should have
been getting.” County “Adoptable” In Foster Care
“It was great that the class was at night and flexible
with my work schedule.” Audrain 16 82
“The training allowed us to learn about real life
examples of behaviors and methods we can use Boone 18 340
to redirect our kids and get them through what is
troubling them.” Callaway 12 194
“I learned so many things about disciplinary, how to
take care of a child with PTSD and how to handle Cole 13 136
them. The one on one, even though it was video, still
felt like a one on one setting. It let me know I am Osage 0 7
Maries 0 35
Phelps 8 228
“We learned a lot about how the entire fostering
process works in general. From the time the child Camden 9 94
is placed with you to when they leave. We had a
little knowledge about the reunification process, Pulaski 14 192
how things work once children’s division, etc. get
Laclede 25 175
Miller 0 53
Moniteau 0 18
Morgan 3 76
Total 118 1630
As of 8/31/21 Table 19 of the
Children’s Services Management Report
COMMUNITY Three Youth Attend
CONNECTIONS Independent Living Conference
“The CCYP® Department was very busy this
summer! The department was excited to be
able to attend the Daniel Memorial Independent
Living Conference in Orlando, FL with three
The group was able to attend workshops during
the day to learn about what it means to grow
into a successful independent adult.
During downtime in the evenings, the group
explored some of Orlando’s tourist sites
including Gatorland, WonderWorks Orlando,
and to top it all off, they stayed in the Rosen
Centre Hotel and Convention Center which had
a stunning view of the city, several restaurants,
and a pool! It was the perfect combination of
learning and fun!
Learn More About Family Development Training
STARS 27 hour certified state mandated pre-service training for prospective resource providers
who reside in the northern regions of the state.
STRONG 15 hour certified state mandated pre-service training for prospective resource providers
who reside in the southern regions of the state.
Spaulding 12 hour certified state mandated training for prospective adoptive parents. STARS and or
STRONG certificate required to attend this training.
STARS Caregiver 9 hour certified state mandated training for kinship/relative resource providers
YEN (Level A) An 18 hour certified training to provide foster parents tools to help
children with escalated emotional and/or behavioral needs.
Sibling Bond A 7 hour certified training to support sibling relationships, negative effects of separations
on siblings, preparing to better support and care for sibling groups, minimizing the trauma
of separation and more.
CPR/First Aid In person, limited seating. State mandated and required prior to licensure
Ready, Set, Fly 5 hour certified mandated training for resource parents who have teens in their care.
For training dates & registration: mofosteradopt.com/familydevelopment
Open Arms & Active Support
Create Opportunities for Success
Nate and Bailey Meyers
The Meyer family came to us in 2019 seeking to become a licensed We our sharing their
foster/adoptive family. They participated in our STARS preservice story to acknowledge and
training, CPR and Spaulding adoption trainings. After becoming congratulate them on their
licensed they welcomed children into their home with open continual hard work and
arms. They took placement of three sibling teens, an infant, and dedication to children and
have three natural children of their own. Now settling into a new
routine, they accepted an informal placement of another teen. natural families!!!
Not long after settling into yet another routine, the sibling set of Thank you, Nate and Bailey, from
three was split. Despite all of these changes, the children in their the Family Development Team!
care remained their highest priority. This family has and continues
to embody the true value of consistency, structure, and natural
family bonding. The sibling set, although split, remained in contact
with each other through weekend visits, sleepovers, and other
family activities. They co-parent with foster parents of the siblings
who moved to another home as they remain committed to the
family as a whole.
The teens they have had the chance to love, nurture and support
are successful and have been awarded for accomplishments in
their career jobs. The Meyers continue to be ongoing supports
for the children they have had in their care and feel the best
way they can continue to support their children is by being the
child’s “biggest cheerleader.” The Meyers agree it is an incredible
investment in the lives of the young people!
Nate and Bailey have been getting assistance from our Direct
Services Department to convert their workout room to a bedroom
and study area to welcome another teen into their care!
On October 7, 2021, the Meyers welcomed the newest addition
to their family through adoption!! CMFCAA extends a heart-
warming welcome to the Meyer family! They state they feel the
most important role they can play for the children in their care
is to be to be flexible and to assist the child in maintaining safe
relationships with their natural families.
This family is one of our many success stories. They remain
committed to families as a whole and make time to mentor
and support the natural parents of all the children in their
care. With their ongoing, unwavering support, the children
in their care have demonstrated and have had successes in
school, life skills, professionally, and in strengthening their
natural family relationships.
Just a few of our 2021
809 Swifts Hwy Jefferson City, MO 65101
Serving 24 Counties:
Contact Us: Jefferson City Office- HQ Boone County Office Osage Beach Office Rolla Office
809 Swifts Hwy 105 E Ash, Suite 101 4821 Osage Beach Parkway 400 N. Main Street
Monday-Friday Jefferson City, MO 65101 Columbia, MO 65203 Osage Beach, MO 65065 Rolla, MO 65401
from 8am – 5pm 573-476-6039 573-693-9525 573-426-6514
DeAnna Alonso President & CEO [email protected]
Sarah Bashore CPO [email protected]
Finance: Director of Finance [email protected]
Jacque Moreland [email protected]
Support: Program Manager [email protected]
Rhiannon Franklin Administrative Assistant [email protected]
Karrie Scheulen Human Resources Specialist [email protected]
Leslie Jacobs Volunteer Supervisor [email protected]
Chase Wyckwood Community Engagement Specialist [email protected]
Jennifer Wenkel IT Supervisor [email protected]
Ben Rieke Marketing Supervisor [email protected]
Kyle Stephan Compliance, Technician Osage Beach Area [email protected]
Alexandra Russell [email protected]
Direct Services Department: Direct Services Supervisor [email protected]
Christal Jones [email protected]
Libby Beetem Resource Coordinator Jefferson City Area [email protected]
Kim Van Heukelom Resource Coordinator Osage Beach Area [email protected]
Gus Nash Resource Coordinator Rolla Area [email protected]
Family Finding Department: [email protected]
Tamara Fish Family Finding Supervisor [email protected]
Brittany Brakefield 30 Days to Family® Specialist Rolla Area [email protected]
Lynn Burnside 30 Days to Family® Specialist Rolla Area [email protected]
Leslie Higgins 30 Days to Family® Specialist Rolla Area [email protected]
Kinship Navigator Department: [email protected]
Crystal Wilson Kinship Navigator Supervisor [email protected]
Kristin Hughes Kinship Navigator Specialist Rolla Area
Joyce Marshall Kinship Navigator Specialist Osage Beach Area
Family Development Department:
Carol Montie Family Development Supervisor
Samantha Green Family Development Trainer Columbia Area
Hannah Cuthbertson Family Development Trainer Columbia Area
Eric Bowe Family Development Trainer Jefferson City Area
Community Connections Youth Project® (CCYP®):
David Trammell Youth Programs Supervisor Columbia Area
Travis Green CCYP® Specialist Jefferson City Area
Montajia Staten CCYP® Specialist Rolla Area
AmeriCorp Vista: Marketing & Communications Vista