Articles

A Day in the Life: Extreme Recruiter, Kelsey Kremser

I’m a morning person, so I dive right into my inbox at 9:00 a.m. As I sift through the emails, I find updates from Rod Budd, a former NCIS investigator, now private investigator that I partner with in conducting family searches. The Extreme Recruitment program is 12-20 weeks of intensive recruitment efforts aimed to reconnect youth with safe and appropriate relatives and achieve permanency in a stable, loving home. What makes this program so extreme is that the investigator and I locate and engage biological relatives, current and previous foster parents, neighbors, teachers, church members, and potential adoptive parents, while also meeting with each client’s team on a weekly basis to report on our progress and collaborate regarding next steps. So, in my inbox this morning, I find updates from Rod on almost all of our clients. He has included interviews with two previous foster parents, a maternal cousin, a paternal uncle, and reports that he is still searching for a maternal great grandmother. I read through the interviews, update the clients’ charts, and head to a 10:00 a.m. team meeting.

My first team of the day consists of my client’s legal guardian, case manager, and an adoption worker. We are in week 17 of 20 and have identified a great potential match! The team excitedly discusses all the most recent updates. The family is registered to attend adoption training, we are awaiting their background checks, and in the meantime, we are going to hold a school meeting, schedule family therapy, and help the client work on a Lifebook.

Onto meeting number two. This case is a large sibling group of children with significant mental, emotional, and physical needs. Today, I bring a letter and several photos sent to me by a family member wishing to reconnect with the siblings. The letter includes the relatives favorite memories with each of the children, she expresses how much she misses them, and wishes them the very best. The team looks forward to sharing the letter and photos with the children.

Back at the office, I shuffle papers out of the way to make room for my lunch. I eat at my desk as I send out the meeting minutes, reminders of the assigned tasks, and information about next week’s meetings. Then, I get started on my tasks for the week. I call the biological mother and father of my newest client. I introduce myself and the Extreme Recruitment program, and share that it is my goal to help get their child out of the foster care system. I ask the parents to share their stories, information about their family tree, and their hopes for their child’s future. Their responses include tearful stories of loss and grieving, as well as joyful reflections on their dearest memories with their child. As I talk with more family members, the client’s family tree quickly grows from two known relatives to 82. I put the finishing touches on the child’s genogram, and glance at the clock.

I grab my keys and I am out the door for my last meeting of the day, a home visit with a client and their foster family. We sit together around the kitchen table talking about life, school, friends, and most important, family. Every child deserves a permanent place to call home and a forever family to support them.

It’s my job to make that happen, and I absolutely love it.

 

Would you like to be a champion for foster families with UMFS visist www.umfs.org/careers/

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