Courtney McAlister – Staff Spotlight

Courtney McAlister is not only an incredible wife and mama she is also is a very important member of Agape! She is our Social worker supervisor, she helps find placements for kids being put into foster care and provides training and support to the other social workers. Her heart is huge and she is extremely dedicated to helping families and kids in need! Courtney we are so thankful for YOU!!

Posted in Staff Spotlight |

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

We are so thankful for everyone who participated in the contest to help us build our digital presence! Juliana P. was the name we picked and will be receiving a $25 gift card. Please share us with friends and family who may be interested in becoming foster parents or supporting us! Thanks!

Posted in News | Tagged , , , |

Helping A Little Girl Who Is Hurting

Grace, a 6 year old girl, has had a difficult life so far. Prior to coming to Agape Villages, she was in foster care and subsequently reunified with her mother early last year.

Unfortunately, her mother continued struggling with a substance abuse problem and was unable to follow the safety plan required for caring for Grace. Her father was out of the home and was a registered sex offender.

Grace was then placed in foster care with Agape Villages with one of our single parent resource families. At first, Grace was very quiet, cried a lot (especially to see her mother), and would eat very little. Agape Social Worker, Courtney McAlister, was able to arrange counseling ser- vices for Grace to help with her adjustments. We are pleased to report that after several months, Grace is doing much better. She is happy, loves her foster mother whom she calls “Grandma,” and is gaining weight.

We continue to work with the referring County Department of Social Services as efforts are made to work out a permanency plan for Grace.

Posted in Stories | Tagged , , , , |

14th Annual Fairways Fore Foster Kids

Golfing, Games, BBQ, Prizes, Raffle, Auction, Driving Range & Dinner at Chez Shari! Join us for a whole day’s events! The 14th Annual Fairways Fore Foster Kids Golf Tournament will be on October 26, 11am at Manteca Golf Course.

Do you want to show off your putting game? Can you drive the ball long? Are you accurate? Show off your skills for a chance at prizes, including a brand new car from American Chevrolet with a hole in one.

If you’re not much of a golfer, you can still help us with this event. Contact Us at the Manteca office if you want to provide items for the Raffle and Auction. Or if your business would like to sponsor us, you can sign up to do so here.

We put on events like this so we can benefit the kids in foster care that our agency helps. We look forward to seeing you October 26!

Posted in Events |

An Eagle Scout Project For Our Carnival

Last year we put on our first Carnival in San Leandro. It was so much fun for all those that attended that we wanted to do it again this year. Our 2nd Annual Carnival in San Leandro on September 22 will feature food, games, rides, a photo booth and so much more! This year we were so fortunate to have an eagle scout, Jeston Bond, offer their services to build some games for us as their eagle scout project.

Jeston spent 200 hours and his own money to build some amazing quality games, including plinko, mini golf, and cornhole. These games required planning and multiple steps to create. He built the games from raw wood, cutting, sanding, painting and applying the lettering. Over the months he invested into these games, he had to work through rain and heat going up to 108 degrees.

We’re looking forward to a great Carnival in September, thank you Jeston for all your hard work and time!

Posted in Events |

A Tale of Two Boys—Family Secured

An all-too-typical story. 2 teen brothers. Biological mom on drugs. Biological dad in prison. The boys moved between family members, city to city. Not going to school. Finally CPS was called.

The boys were in several foster homes and then came to one of Agape’s wonderful foster homes. It took a little while, but the boys are doing well in school. They are involved in sports. They have part-time jobs. They are typical kids. Their foster mom is now their legal guardian.

The boys have found their family. Agape foster mom says, “Agape Social Worker Courtney McAlister has been an excellent social worker. So supportive. The children’s attorney has been very good also. Courtney made the difference. I am very pleased with Agape.”

Posted in Stories | Tagged , , , |

Backpack Donations to Davis Street

When we have donations beyond what we can give out, we work with other organizations in the community to make sure the items are given to people in need.

We just donated a few unused back packs and duffel bags to Davis Street, an organization with a great mission. They help people with low income in the Eden area and surrounding communities to improve their quality of life.

Here are two of our staff members, Mara and Eddie, with Daniel Johnson, the Operations Director, as the donations are being handed over.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , |

Agape Receives CARF Accreditation!

We did it! After over a year of pursuing our national accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitative Facilities (CARF), we received our approval letter on May 9th confirming we received our accreditation for the maximum period allowed, three years.

We worked hard to get all of our policies and practices in compliance with over 2,000 CARF standards. It was a challenging task with staff agency-wide participating in the project. Many thanks to our key leadership staff, Janet Kleyn and Cheryl Youngblood, for guiding the agency through this process and to Doug Mead, our pro-bono consultant for this endeavor.

Zen Gee and Barbara Dorsett, CARF representatives, met with us on April 4-6. They spoke very highly about Agape at their exit meeting. They made comments such as the following. “We don’t often see first year applicant agencies doing this well with the CARF process. You are way ahead of the game as a first-time agency. You are truly a pillar in your community. We commend all of you in this process and it is evident you definitely made a commitment to CARF.”

We must continue to comply with their standards as we will be reviewed every three years for ongoing compliance and re-certification. Agape Villages’ President, Janet Kleyn, states: “Achieving accreditation was long and hard, but we have a great sense of pride in knowing we comply with best practice standards in our industry. The children in our care deserve no less.”

We received a letter from CARF’s President/CEO, Brian Boon, Ph.D., who said the following:

“It is my pleasure to inform you that Agape Villages Foster Family Agency has been issued CARF accreditation based on its recent survey. This achievement is an indication of your organization’s dedication and commitment to improving the quality of the lives of the persons served.”

We are thrilled to reach this milestone! We hope this “seal of approval” also strengthens our already good reputation and relationship with external stakeholders and the communities in which we operate!

Posted in News |

8th Annual Foster Care Picnic

We had our 8th annual picnic for our families and youth in June this year. We had our typical play activities, games, music, food and added a photo booth, face painting and a henna tattoo booth. We welcomed back Reptile Ron and his interesting creatures. His traveling reptile show was exciting and educational for everyone. We appreciate all the families, staff, GK Music, the volunteers, and everyone who participated in making the picnic a magical day for all.

Our picnic is the perfect opportunity for our kids and non-minor dependents (those over 18 years of age in care) to have some good old fashioned fun. It is also a time for our foster parents to visit with other foster parents and make new friends.

Posted in Events |

We Are Co-workers With God

Third John is a small book. In fact, it is the shortest book in the New Testament. As I was reading through this small book recently I read the apostle John’s comments concerning those who were working and supporting the work in the early church. In verse eight, John wrote, “Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.” John reminds Gaius of the responsibility that Christians have in helping the work in the kingdom. He says it is something “we ought” to do. This verse speaks of an obligation to the kingdom’s work.

Another interesting observation from that verse is that when we support the work of the kingdom, we become “fellow workers” with others who are working. This same word is used thirteen times in the New Testament. An interesting use of the word is found in 1 Thessalonians 3:2 which reads, “and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s co-worker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith.” The word is used here to describe Timothy as a “co- worker” of God. When Timothy was a worker in the kingdom, not only was he a “fellow worker” with Paul, but he was “God’s co-worker.”

As I consider 3 John 8, and 1 Thessalonians 3:2, I am reminded of why it is such a blessing to support Agape Villages. When we support a work in the kingdom such as this, we are: 1) fellow workers with other Christians, and 2) co-workers with God! What an amazing thought that I can be a co-worker with God. What an honor it surely is for each of us to be able to say that we are working alongside God in His kingdom, for His glory. Amen!

Posted in Stories | Tagged , , , |