News and Stories

  • Adoption Wish Finally Comes True

    Martha and Loren Manske are now the proud parents of two very cute and very active young boys, Harley, who is 4 ½ years old, and Dylan, who is 6. The couple married later in life, at ages 39 and 42 respectively, and when they could not have children on their own, they decided ...
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  • Helping to Create a Trauma-Informed School

    As with many schools that have students living in poverty and who have a high number of adverse childhood experiences, Franklin Middle School in Green Bay has some who need assistance with attendance or behaviors. Then they received a grant to form what was called the Responder Project. As part of the project, SaintA’s Clinical Services ...
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  • Kids Boost Resiliency, Coping Skills Through Fun

    On the recent concluding evening of Terrific Tuesdays, the eight children ages 6-12 from SaintA foster homes got involved in pure fun. They played musical chairs and danced joyfully and vigorously to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.” But there was a very serious element to the evening when the children were given certificates for completing the 10-week program. ...
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  • Eight Is More Than Enough, and It Works!

    Stephanie and Jermaine Allen have four biological children and guardianship of a nephew who has autism. But when SaintA contacted them about three young children who had been severely abused and left at a library by their biological mother, they willingly opened their home. The Allens became foster parents when their nephew Corey, who now is ...
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  • From Romanian Orphan to Helper of Traumatized Kids

    Kathryn (Kat) Dinkelacker, an Ongoing Case Manager at SaintA, spent two and a half years in a Romanian orphanage. The horrible conditions and deprivation she suffered as a very young child became the basis for her life’s goal: to help other children who have experienced trauma. “I don’t think people take into consideration the effects of ...
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  • Governor’s Foster Parent Award Winner Stepping Up to Fill the Need

    Nakeita Patterson became a foster parent because, she said, she had interacted with a lot of them who exemplified the good, the bad and the ugly. With a background in criminal justice, social work and employment in a group home, she saw what happened to kids who had not lived in solid, nurturing foster homes. ...
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  • Specialists Help Open Parents’ Eyes, Foster Reunification

    Family Engagement Specialist James Burrows sees his interactions with parents whose children have been removed from the home as almost like a chess match. “Every step I take is calculated, and there are so many variables in play, with the Bureau (of Milwaukee Child Welfare,) the courts, the system; but we just continue to work with ...
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  • Stressing Self-Care for Foster Parents

    Ongoing Case Manager Sarah Benitez had an “aha” moment about compassion fatigue when a foster mother with whom she had been working for a long time had to go to court and testify regarding the termination of parental rights for her foster children. “Going to court to me is like going to the office, but, with ...
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  • Sister Leaves Behind a Legacy of Dedication and Laughter

    Sister Rose Martin Weldgen, the most recent member of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Assisi to sit on the SaintA board, has left her post for health reasons. She leaves behind legacy of caring, commitment, and – as she will readily admit – a bit of lunacy. Sister relishes her sense of humor, what she ...
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  • Functional Family Therapy Turns a Family Around

    When SaintA therapist Lindsay Price started working with a family, the 14-year-old boy had stolen a car, was getting into fights at school, threatening his 8-year-old sister, and being disrespectful to his mother and grandmother. By the end of five months working with Functional Family Therapy (FFT), things had dramatically improved. But getting there required a ...
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  • Community Building Event Helps Young Adults

    A youth in SaintA’s Independent Living Services program who attended a recent Community Building event came in on the Saturday of the two-day program looking like she was carrying the burden of the world. By the end of the day Sunday, she had a big, broad smile and she looked like she was floating on air. “I ...
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  • Foster Mom Stresses Reunification

    Sherrie Miller, who has been a foster mother for 13 years, is a believer in reunification of children with their biological parents. It’s the foundation of foster care, she says, and she thinks the best place for children is almost always with their parents. “Anything I can do, and the court can do, needs to be ...
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  • Kids Move From Severe Neglect to Lots of Love

    When Shirlee Bedard’s three adopted children were removed from their biological home, the youngest, who was 14 months old, weighed 16 pounds. Because they had been kept in a closet for long periods of time, they had developed their own kind of language. They knew little about interacting or communicating in the “normal” world, and they lacked ...
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  • A Little Encouragement Goes a Long Way

    Sometimes all it takes is encouragement. Shlonda never had much. Then when case manager in SaintA’s Independent Living Services (ILS) program reached out to her, things started to change. Shlonda is 26 and has been with ILS, which helps former foster children achieve successful and independent adult lives, for five years. Her younger sister first became a ...
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  • A Rough Road Led to Getting Her Kids Back

    Trisha bounces her wide-eyed toddler at her dining room table as she talks about being a crack addict. Her house is tidy and the little girl is happy and healthy. Keeping this child, and being reunified with three others, is what drove Trisha ultimately to get clean. That, plus the cocaine was killing her. “It makes you ...
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