This weekend, foster families from across Kentucky will gather at the Embassy Suites in Lexington for KVC Kentucky’s Resource Family Conference (RFC). The gathering takes place December 11-12 and is a unique training opportunity for kinship, foster and adoptive families who are caring for children who are temporarily in foster care due to abuse, neglect, parental drug use or other family challenges. The conference occurs simultaneously in three other cities including Overland Park, Kansas; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Daniels, West Virginia. Portions of the event are simulcast among all four locations for a total audience of more than 2,000 people.
Each RFC features an inspirational keynote speaker, typically someone who was in foster care as a child and has achieved success in adulthood. This year, families will hear from veteran newsman Dominic Carter, a journalist with Verizon Fios/RNN News who has been described as the best political reporter working in New York television today. Carter’s book, “No Momma’s Boy,” chronicles his triumphant struggle to overcome years of childhood abuse from his mother and her mental illness as a chronic paranoid schizophrenic while growing up in the housing projects in South Bronx, New York. Past keynote speakers include country music artist Jimmy Wayne and author Mark Anthony Garrett.
KVC Kentucky’s RFC will also feature a training centered on caring for children who have experienced trauma, taught by Josh Barnett, Program and Regional Family Preservation Director for KVC Kentucky. “Resource” families, which include relative, non-related kin and foster parents, will learn about topics such as handling behavior challenges, repairing the effects of stress and trauma, and transition planning into adulthood. Children will enjoy fun activities like games, bouncy houses, talent shows and offsite outings. More importantly, each child and parent is a guest of KVC’s for the weekend, giving children in foster care a positive, life-changing experience.
“The Resource Family Conference is something that many of the children and teens in foster care look forward to all year long,” said B. Wayne Sims, CEO of KVC Health Systems for the past 35 years and creator of the event. “We’re proud to be able to provide this benefit to our foster families, and it simply wouldn’t be possible without the generous businesses, families and individuals who partner with KVC to make it happen.”