Phoenix Institute Inc - Foster Parenting and Information Fort Wayne Foster Care and Fort Wayne Adoptions
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May is National Foster Care Month

Read about it here!


Info on Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

Read about it here!


Support The Phoenix Institute

everytime you shop Amazon.


Thank you to the Donors for our Food, 

Fun, and Foster Care Event.

See the Donors List here!


Cheers for The Phoenix Institute

Read about it here!


Cheers for The Phoenix Institute

Read about it here!


May is National Fostercare Month!

Read about it here!


Presidential Proclamation -- National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, 2014

Read about it here!


Help Us Reach Our Goal!

Read about it here!


Live Foster Care Discussion

Read about it here!


Happy Mother's Day

Read Sue's Message to the Foster Moms here!


May is National Foster Care Month.

Read about National Foster Care Month here!


Working with Families: The Six Protective Factors

Read about it here!


Tips for keeping your family strong.

Read about it here!


Indiana Department of Child Services to Host Candle-light Ceremonies Across the State on April 16

Read about it here!


Every Child Matters is a partner in the Child Mind Institute’s Speak Up for Kids campaign in May. This year, to build awareness they have pulled together this quick and fun quiz to let people know just how many children are needlessly suffering across the US. Please take the quiz and share it to help us speak up for kids everywhere!


Welcome to new board member Rick Geary.

Read about Rick here!



Read it here!


2013 Foster Parent Calendar

Read it here!

-More News Articles
Read them here!

Recent News for Phoenix Institute Inc.


Presidential Proclamation -- National Foster Care Month, 2015





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At the heart of the American story is the simple truth that all children should have a fair chance at success, no matter who they are or where they come from. Central to this promise of opportunity are the love and support of family -- which all girls and boys deserve, but not enough have. During National Foster Care Month, we recommit to caring for all our Na-tion's daughters and sons, and we reaffirm our basic belief: in America, there is a place for everyone, and no young person should feel like they are on their own.


Over the last decade, our Nation has made significant progress in reducing the number of young people in foster care, but we have more work to do to ensure all children can thrive in a safe and nurturing environment. Today, there are over 400,000 boys and girls in our foster care system. More than 100,000 of them are waiting to be adopted, and every year, 23,000 young people age out of the system -- never having found the security of a permanent home. There also continue to be disproportionate numbers of African-American and Native American youth in the foster care system, compounding the disparities these communities too often face.


All young people, regardless of what they look like, which religion they follow, who they love, or the gender they identify with, deserve the chance to dream and grow in a loving, permanent home. When our Nation's daughters and sons lack sta-ble homes and strong support structures, they face enormous barriers to reaching their fullest potential -- difficulties no child should have to experience, especially not on their own. And those who age out of the foster care system often face obstacles as they transition into adulthood, including challenges completing their education, remaining financially secure, and staying out of the justice system.


My Administration is committed to expanding what is possible for all our Nation's children and empowering them to over-come every challenge they face. From day one, we have been working to create a better, more-supportive foster care system, and we have taken steps to increase the safety, permanency, and well-being of America's children. Last year, we announced new initiatives to help protect the financial security of foster youth, expand their opportunities for education and employ-ment, and keep them out of the justice system. We are partnering with State and tribal leaders to support innovative strate-gies that strengthen families, improve the foster care system, and prevent children from entering it in the first place, and each day we continue the fight to secure every child's right to earn their piece of the American dream.


We know that children are best raised in families, not institutions. And each year, men and women of all backgrounds open their homes and hearts to foster children. These selfless individuals step up and serve as loving parents and family members and dedicated teachers, mentors, caseworkers, and faith leaders -- helping foster children realize their highest aspirations de-spite the great odds stacked against them. My Administration is striving to bolster all those who support foster children by providing the resources and assistance they need. With so many children waiting for loving homes, it is important to ensure all qualified caregivers have the opportunity to serve as foster or adoptive parents, regardless of race, religion, sexual orienta-tion, gender identity, or marital status. That is why we are working to break down the barriers that exist and investing in efforts to recruit more qualified parents for children in foster care.

In the face of often unimaginable challenges, foster children demonstrate extraordinary courage and determination. Their resolve reminds us that we have obligations to them and to one another, and that we all share in the responsibility of lifting up our Nation's youth. This month, we honor these young people and all those who dedicate themselves to making a differ-ence in the lives of girls and boys in foster care. Let us each recognize the large and small ways we can brighten the future of a foster child this month and every month, and together let us reach for the day when everyone knows the love and safety of a permanent home.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2015 as National Foster Care Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by taking time to help youth in foster care and recognizing the commitment of all who touch their lives.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.









Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Source: The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
In support of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has resources for mental health professionals, law enforcement personnel, health care professionals, and survivors on the signs of trafficking and services for human trafficking survivors.
For more information click on
For information about Human Trafficking in Indiana click on


Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Source: The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

In support of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has resources for mental health professionals, law enforcement personnel, health care professionals, and survivors on the signs of trafficking and services for human trafficking survivors.

For more information click on


For information about Human Trafficking in Indiana click on



The Phoenix Institute is now an eligible charity in the Amazon Smiles Programs.  Please use the link to shop Amazon and make a donation to The Phoenix Institute.  The pricing is the same and the donation (0.5% from Amazon) is at no cost to you.

Please copy this link to your browser to the Amazon Smile website.



 A Special Thanks to our Community Donors


Peg Perego

Wings etc.

Tin Caps

Edie Dearing, Mary Kay consultant

Science Central

Painting with a Twist

Olive Twist

Mad Ants


Crazy Pinz

Country Heritage Winery

Cookie Cottage

Cinema Grill

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

Children's Museum


Canterbury Golf

Will Jewelers – Illinois Rd.

Lowes – Lima Rd.

Ginny Barrand, Avon consultant


House of Neco

Don Halls Restaurants 

Lindsay Rorick, thirty-one consultant


Alexandra Hall


Tranquil Touch Spa

Three Rivers Running Company

Pure Movement

Kyle Kerschner Personal Trainer


Dr. Mallory of Chiropractic Care & Wellness Center


Ueber & Friedrich Dentistry


Contoure Full Spectrum Spa



Club Soda

Jamie Wise Jazz Quartet



Cheers to The Phoenix Institute Foster family agency for recognizing our foster moms and dads with gifts on Mother's Day and Father's Day. They are always so kind to try and do special things for us. We love our Phoenix Institute foster family. Thank you again for your kindness.

Mamie and Ellis Howard
Suzanne and Rodney McGhee


CHEERS TO THE PHOENIX INSTITUTE foster care agency for our monthly mom’s night. This month was extra special since we were celebrating Mother’s Day. It was held at our executive director’s house instead of a restaurant and we had an evening of pampering. The Phoenix Institute set up child care so that we could all make it. We had spa services such as eye brow waxing, false eye lash application, aromatherapy with hand and foot massages all at no cost to us. It was absolutely awesome and a much needed reprieve.
Thank-you Phoenix Institute foster care for taking such good care of your foster parents. We truly appreciate you!

Druanne Walker
Kelly Miller
Patricia Green


May Is National Foster Care Month 2014
Building Blocks Toward Permanent Families
Source: The Children’s Bureau & U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
May is National Foster Care Month, a month set aside to acknowledge foster parents, family members, vol-unteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections. During National Foster Care Month, we renew our commitment to ensuring a bright future for the nearly 400,000 children and youth in foster care, and we celebrate all those who make a meaningful difference in their lives.
For more information click on the link below



Every April, our Nation comes together to renew our stand against a crime
that affronts our basic decency and humanity. Sexual assault threatens every
community in America, and we all have a role to play in protecting those
we love most -- our mothers and fathers, our husbands and wives, our daughters
and sons. During National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month,
we recommit to ending the outrage of sexual assault, giving survivors the
support they need to heal, and building a culture that never tolerates
sexual violence.

Thanks to dedicated activists and courageous survivors, we have made strides
in reducing stigma, opened new shelters across our country, and given
countless Americans a new sense of hope. A driving force behind much of this
progress was the landmark Violence Against Women Act. Last year, I was proud
to sign legislation that reauthorized and strengthened this law while also
extending protections for underserved communities.

We have come a long way, but sexual violence remains an all-too-common
tragedy. Today, an estimated one in five women is sexually assaulted in
college. This is unacceptable. Because college should be a place where
everyone can safely and confidently pursue their talents, I launched the
White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. And because
our Nation's backlog of rape kits means offenders may be free to strike
again, I have proposed funding for coordinated community teams to address
this problem. My Administration is working to stop sexual assaults wherever
they occur, in both the civilian community and the Armed Forces. Together,
we will continue to strengthen the criminal justice system, develop
trauma-informed services, reach out to survivors, and focus aggressively on

Sexual assault is more than just a crime against individuals. When a young
boy or girl withdraws because they are questioning their self-worth after
an assault, that deprives us of their full potential. When a parent struggles
to hold a job in the wake of a traumatic attack, the whole family suffers.
And when a student drops out of school or a service member leaves the
military because they were sexually assaulted, that is a loss for our entire

This month, let us recognize that we all have a stake in preventing sexual
assault, and we all have the power to make a difference. Together, let us
stand for dignity and respect, strengthen the fabric of our communities, and
build a safer, more just world.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America,
by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of
the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2014 as National Sexual Assault
Awareness and Prevention Month. I urge all Americans to support survivors
of sexual assault and work together to prevent these crimes in their

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of
March, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and



National Sexual Violence Resource Center

123 North Enola Drive, Enola, PA  17025

877.739.3895 Toll Free



We are embarking on a fun new fundraiser that is just in time for the holidays! Carson’s, the new department store at Glenbrook Mall has a special sale scheduled on November 15 and 16 that is called Community Days! It is exclusive to those that purchase the Community Days coupon booklet.

The FULL profits of the booklet will go directly to Phoenix Institute, Inc.

We will apply the fundraiser toward our Christmas Bonus for foster parents! The more booklets we sell the better the bonus that we can offer!!!  

Beginning Monday we will have booklets available in the office and case workers will have them as well! We are hoping that foster parents will consider each commit to selling booklets for us as well!!!! I will be keeping track of what each foster family sells and there will be a special recognition for the top selling family!

Community Days coupon booklet can also be purchased online at Again full profits from this link will go directly to Phoenix Institute. Please post this link on Facebook and other social media sites and share it with out of town family and friends.  

Finally, we will be selling the coupon books inside Carson’s as well! I am tentatively scheduled to sell the booklets in store (and would love for company if anyone wants to promote our agency with me – keep in mind the recruitment bonus!)

Wed Oct 9th

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Fri Oct 18th

Noon - 2:00 pm

Thu Oct 24th

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Tue Oct 29th

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Thu Nov 7th

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Thu Nov 14th

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm



May is National Foster Care Month. Join the Indiana Dept. of Child Services as we talk with two foster parents about the joys and responsibilities of providing a temporary safe haven for abused or neglected children. We’ll also chat with a foster care specialist and explore not only what it takes to be a foster parent, but also how the nurturing they provide is so important to these traumatized children.

The 30-minute live discussion will take place at 12 noon (Indianapolis time) on Friday, May 24. To listen, please go to the following website:

5/7/2013 Happy Mother's Day

I want to wish all of our wonderful foster mom’s a blessed Mother’s Day. I will not be at multi-family because I will be in Indianapolis with other Executive Directors from around the state attending a cocktail party for Judge Bonaventura our new state director. It seems important to be seen and to make ourselves known . It is such a political game  but unfortunately  one that must be played.

I picked up a little something for everyone as a MOTHER’S DAY gift. Mimi will pass them out at multi-family. We sure wish that we could do more for all the blessings that you bring to our youth.

I found something that made me think of all of you. Here it is.

Mothers are also a lot LIKE flowers in many ways...each one has her own unique beauty and each is designed by God to bloom where she is planted. As the heart of a Mother grows and blossoms in beauty and grace, she spreads her fragrance of LOVE not only in her home, but throughout her world.

Walk with me now through this enchanting garden as we examine how the different qualities and characteristics of each of these flowers remind us of the BEAUTY of a Mother's love.

Baby's Breath

Our first flower reminds us of the very beginning of a woman's life as a Mother...the moment when she takes her first child into her arms and smells the fragrance of that sweet Baby's Breath. Her heart will never be the same again.


The Lilac represents the fragrance of a Mother's sacrifice...the lovely scent of forgiveness that results when a flower is crushed and gives back to the very one that crushed it. It reminds us of the beauty that surrounds a Mother who is always willing to forgive her children's faults and offer them compassion, mercy and unconditional love.


The Hydrangea has a wonderful quality of being able to change color from shades of pink to blue. Initially it was thought that this flower was like a chameleon, changing color to match its surroundings, but experiments proved that the color is actually determined by the roots of the plant and the kind of soil it is planted in. This illustrates the Mother who gives her children a rich foundation of love and deep roots of character and strength.



Executive Director

5/2/2013 May is National Foster Care Month

The Children’s Bureau—together with its information service, Child Welfare Information Gateway; the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections; and the National Resource Center for Youth Development—is pleased to announce that the 2013 National Foster Care Month website is now online:

This year's theme is “Supporting Youth in Transition,” and the website provides tools and information that highlight a variety of practices and approaches you can use to support your work with youth, such as:

Bookmark the website today!

For more information, contact Child Welfare Information Gateway at 1.800.394.3366 or

4/10/2013 Working with Families: The Six Protective Factors

Read about it here!


Tips for keeping your family strong.

Read about it here!


Indiana Department of Child Services to Host Candle-light Ceremonies Across the State on April 16

INDIANAPOLIS (April 5, 2013) -- The Indiana Department of Child Services will host candle-light ceremonies across the state on April 16, beginning at 7 p.m., respective to local times. DCS offices representing 91 counties will join local officials, child advocates, and community neighbors on this singular evening to unit communities across Indiana in raising awareness about child abuse and neglect, and to encourage greater community-level participation in addressing this tragic issue. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Gov. Mike Pence has also proclaimed April as Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month in Indiana. Gov. Pence will kick off the statewide candle-light ceremony on the Statehouse lawn.

All 92 DCS county offices will be participating in child-abuse prevention and awareness events throughout April.

For a listing of candle-light ceremony locations per county, please click here.



Every Child Matters is a partner in the Child Mind Institute’s Speak Up for Kids campaign in May. This year, to build awareness they have pulled together this quick and fun quiz to let people know just how many children are needlessly suffering across the US. Please take the quiz and share it to help us speak up for kids everywhere!


Welcome to new board member Rick Geary.
As you can see from Rick's Bio, he brings a wealth of knowledge to our Agency.

I previously was the Executive Director of Children’s Sanctuary, Inc. a treatment foster care agency I founded in 1996. Prior to that I was a Regional Director for The Villages in Fort Wayne (2 years), the Executive Director of Cary Home for Children in Lafayette (8 years), the... Director of the Cass County Children’s Home in Logansport (4 years). In addition, my wife and I were house parents at a boy’s home in LaPorte (2 years). I also worked as a Corrections Officer at the Indiana State Prison (4 years).
I am an Army veteran. I am presently retired. My wife and I have three adult children and nine grandchildren.



January 11, 2013 6pm- 8 pm; January 12 9am-5pm; January 18 6pm-8pm; January 19 9am-5pm                

April 19, 2013 6pm- 8 pm; April 20 9am-5pm; April 26 6pm-8pm; April 27 9am-5pm                    

September 13, 2013 6pm- 8 pm; September 14 9am-5pm; September 20 6pm-8pm; September 21 9am-5pm                     

Current Foster Parents can participate in select portions of pre-service for on-going training hours if needed.


2013 Foster Parent Calendar

January 10, 2013 –Multifamily 6-8pm first Wayne Street United Methodist

January 16, 2013 –Mom’s Night 6 pm - Bandido’s on Winchester Rd.

February 14, 2013 – Multifamily CANCELED. Happy Valentine’s Day –you are appreciated!

February 20, 2013 – Mom’s Night 6 pm - Flanagan’s off Jefferson Blvd.

March 14, 2013 – Multifamily – Trauma Informed Resource Parenting Module 1 6-8pm first Wayne Street United Methodist

Saturday, March 16, 2013 – Trauma Informed Resource Parenting Modules 2 – 5 Training TBA

March 20, 2013 – Mom’s Night 6 pm– Mad Anthony Brew House at Taylor and Broadway

Saturday, March 23, 2013 – Trauma Informed Resource Parenting Modules 6 -8 Training TBA

Thursday, April 4, 2013 – Trauma Informed Resource Parenting Modules 2 – 8 Training

8 am – 3 pm Location TBA

April 11, 2013 – Multifamily 6-8pm first Wayne Street United Methodist

April 17, 2013 – Mom’s Night 6pm - Halls Gas House Downtown Fort Wayne

May 9, 2013 – Multifamily 6-8pm first Wayne Street United Methodist

May 15, 2013 – Mom’s Night 6 pm – CASA Parnell and Coliseum

June 13, 2013 – Multifamily 6-8pm first Wayne Street United Methodist

July 11, 2013 – Multifamily 6-8pm first Wayne Street United Methodist


September 12, 2013 – Multifamily 6-8pm first Wayne Street United Methodist

September 18, 2013 – Mom’s Night 6 pm – TBA

October 10, 2013 – Multifamily 6-8pm first Wayne Street United Methodist

October 16, 2013 – Mom’s Night 6 pm – TBA

November 14, 2013 – Multifamily 6-8pm first Wayne Street United Methodist

November 20, 2013 – Mom’s Night 6 pm – TBA

December 12, 2013 – Holiday Carry-In Multifamily 6-8pm First Wayne Street United Methodist

-Foster Parents Christmas Party TBA

*Todd Hunnicutt will also be training CRISIS PREVENTION INTERVENTION during the Spring and Fall. If you are not certified in a de-escalation technique or have not recently participated in pre-service training that includes de-escalation techniques this training will be mandatory.

**Please also be aware, for two parent homes that were under the impression that both foster parents receive training for Multifamily – THIS IS NO LONGER POLICY!!! The State will not accept training unless you are in attendance!!!


Some people believe that the only reason people donate to important causes is because they get the benefit of a charitable tax deduction.

We believe it helps, especially at this time of year, but we also know that is far from the whole story.  We are confident you care even more about vulnerable innocent kids.

For instance, right now we have a unique chance to pass federal legislation that could help reduce the extraordinarily high number of child abuse deaths in our nation today - approximately 2,000 per year.

We may be able to pass our "Protect Our Kids Act" in this lame duck Congress, but we need your help right now!

We know that you want to help prevent these children from dying, especially since 80% of the children who die are under 4 years old and 50% are under one year old!

Speaking up for kids costs money.  Please take a moment right now and let this issue touch your heart.  Then, take out your wallet and make a quick donation for $5, $15, $50, or more if you can afford it.

Every dollar matters as we make this end-of-year push.  Time is of the essence.  Help us take advantage of this rare opportunity.

Thank you so much,

Michael Petit
Every Child Matters Education Fund

PS If you haven’t yet signed our petition urging
Congress to pass legislation for reducing child
abuse and neglect fatalities please do so now!


               Presidents Helping Children            Homeland Insecurity

You can help win the fight for our kids.
Make a tax-deductible donation at


Indiana Department of Child Services, IARCCA Reach Agreement on Rates

INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 27, 2012) – The Indiana Department of Child Services and IARCCA, an Association of Children & Family Services, have reached a legal settlement regarding rates paid to cover additional staffing costs and cost-of-living expenses to residential facilities and foster-care agencies across the state that serve abused and neglected children. The settlement resolves a near three-year challenge that stemmed from the state’s efforts to establish rates based on actual costs incurred.

“We have been working for quite some time with IARCCA and its members regarding rate adjustments,” said DCS Director John Ryan. “We do have to achieve consistency in rates across providers, but IARCCA made some valid points in regard to some of those adjustments, and we’ve been considering how to address those.”

Changes in Indiana property-tax law in 2008 removed responsibility of payments for provider services from county governments and placed that responsibility with state government. In taking on that responsibility, DCS discovered a wide diversity of pricing for services, differing from provider to provider. Since that time, DCS has been working to bring consistency across the board to develop rates that are reasonable and customary, as Medicaid and insurance companies do.

IARCCA Executive Director Cathleen Graham said her membership is pleased with the settlement result. “DCS listened to our concerns, and we came to an agreement on what are reasonable costs related to the care of these vulnerable children,” said Graham. “There is further work to be done, and we are equally pleased that DCS agreed to meet regularly in partnership to enhance Indiana’s child welfare system. It takes both the public and private sectors working together to truly meet the complex needs of these abused, neglected, and delinquent children and their families.”

Ryan said altogether DCS, according to the terms of the settlement, will primarily adjust cost of living rates to providers, and pay for additional staff per child with providers. The settlement agreement provides a one-year adjustment on rates for calendar year 2013. The state estimates the adjustment will cost $15 million.  

Foster families to see rate increase too

DCS recently announced a cost-of-living increase of 3.22 percent in 2013 to foster families caring for abused and neglected children that are wards of the state. The state agency also provided a cost-of-living increase for foster families in 2012.

About Indiana Department of Child Services:
DCS is committed to protecting children who are victims of abuse or neglect.  The agency’s primary goal is to safely keep these children at home with their families by offering appropriate support services.  If safety continues to be a concern, children are placed with relatives or in foster care.  DCS also oversees adoptions from the foster care system and manages the Child Support Bureau.  The Kids First Trust Fund, supported by the sale of ‘Kids First’ specialty automobile license plates, subsidizes programs designed to prevent child abuse and neglect.  Indiana Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline:  800.800.5556.


Representing approximately 100 member agencies in Indiana, IARCCA supports a broad array of services, including residential care, foster care, transitional/independent living, home-based services, shelter care and crisis stabilization. IARCCA, an Association of Children & Family Services, is a 501(c)(4) IRS classified nonprofit association and child advocacy organization. Founded in 1944, IARCCAbrought together a diverse group of providers into a cohesive organization, committed to the provision of quality services so vulnerable children and families may lead healthy and productive lives in their communities. IARCCA is a national leader in developing and using outcome measures, through its tracking of outcomes for over 6,000 children annually.


Stephanie McFarland, APR


Link the Indianapolis Star on the DCS Challenges.


Help us earn money and you receive a home energy inspection with a bundle of energy efficient goodies for free. See info below:

Energizing Indiana

We are excited to roll out our new online Enrollment Guide for your organization. The attached Enrollment Guide is a step-by-step instruction sheet on how to enroll online.

This guide will replace the website URL I had sent you in the past so please remove that from your existing website.

This Enrollment Guide comes as a PDF and has the weblink embedded into the form. You can place the form on your website or create a link to the form on your website. (Again, I am no IT guy but let me know if you have questions on this) Please test the link to ensure it is working properly.

Why are we so excited? Well 2 reasons…

1.            This method will allow your office staff and the people who support your org to sign-up and immediately schedule their appointment online! This cuts out the need of follow-up phone calls, eliminates wrong numbers and delays from messages not being returned.

2.            We are running a special year end promotion to push enrollments where every assessment that is entered “thru the new Enrollment Guide online” and is “completed before 12/31/12” will receive $50 per assessments as opposed to the normal $25! (Notice I highlighted in green, because you can make some serious money between now and the end of the year) Be sure to add this to holiday e-mail blasts, and newsletters you are sending out encourage people to sign-up thru the Enrollment Guide and get their assessment completed before 12/31/12!

Read the Guide and click the link in the Guide.  Read it here!


Thanks to all of you who participated in the candle fundraiser. We hope to do more events like this and hope to get more of you involved. Not only are we asking that you purchase something we are asking that you try and sell the item to your neighbors ,friends, and family. It is these little things that allow us to continue to do the little extras that we do.

With the money from this fundraiser, we were able to make a deposit to cosmetology school for one of our youth who is aging out of the system.

We viewed that as a success!! Thanks so much.



We've moved!!!

On May 14, 2012, we began the process of packing our office to move to our own office space.  As of Monday, May 21st we are now located at:

2314 Lake Avenue, Suite D, Fort Wayne, IN 46805.

Our new numbers are:

260-739-7904 (T)  260-739-7906 (F)

We look forward to seeing you at our new office space.


On Thursday, March 8th Phoenix Institute staff, foster parents and youth attended a presentation hosted by the Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau at the Scottish Rite Auditorium.  Elizabeth Smart was the speaker, and the discussion theme was “You’re Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment.” The event was well attended by a total of 19 from the Institute, and had a strong emphasis on resisting a lifelong victim mentality.   



For immediate release Tuesday, February 21, 2012 

Record Number of Foster Children Adopted in 2011

Dept. of Child Services’ Emphasis on Permanency Drives Increase 

INDIANAPOLIS—Citing a focused effort to move foster children into permanent homes and families, the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) today announced a record number of adoptions were finalized in 2011. For the year 1,787 foster children found forever families with a single-month record of 439 adoptions set in December. 

“All these wonderful adoptions were the result of countless child welfare professionals all over Indiana working together,” shared James W. Payne, Director of DCS. “Without the dedication and commitment of our own staff as well as family court judges, community-based care partners, and Guardians ad Litem/CASAs, these children would not have ‘forever homes’ today. Most of all, this is the result of so many families giving a child a home and making them a part of their heart and family. To all that helped to make these adoptions possible, a heartfelt ‘thank you.’” 

Children who stay in child welfare systems for long periods of time, or leave state care without a permanent family, have difficulty adjusting to adulthood. Many end up homeless, incarcerated or with unplanned babies. They deserve better than that so DCS strives to get foster children into a permanent family within 24 months—mostly by reunification with parents but many times by adoption. 

In 2011 DCS stepped up efforts to re-unite foster kids with their families or find new families in those situations where the children could not safely return home. Partnering with Casey Family Programs, selected groups of DCS staff and community partners made permanency a priority. (The Casey Foundation is a private charitable organization dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the U.S.) The teams targeted hard-to-place children that are older, in sibling groups that want to be adopted together or have special needs. Creative and extraordinary solutions were developed to help reach permanency, which, many times was a finalized adoption. 

In addition to the focus on permanency, much of the credit for the increase in adoptions goes to local judges and other partners. Since November is National Adoption Awareness Month, many courts hold November and December Adoption Days to finalize several adoptions on one date. Allen County and Henry County both scheduled adoption days for November 18. Allen County finalized 16 adoptions that day and Henry County 11. Vanderburgh County held an Adoption Day on December 20 and joined 26 foster kids with their forever families—a single day record for the county. Vanderburgh’s total adoptions for December were 40, a one-month record. Allen County completed 97 adoptions for the year, a record for that county. And since November and December are a part of the holiday season, a time traditionally centered on families, those two months usually see an increase in the number of adoptions. Throughout the state, 598 adoptions were finalized during the last two months of 2011. 

Another strategy DCS uses to help raise awareness about foster kids needing permanent homes is the Indiana Heart Gallery. This traveling photographic exhibit features up to 40 compelling pictures of foster children, along with brief introductions. The Heart Gallery has been criss-crossing the state visiting over 50 venues a year since 2007. To honor Indiana’s success in foster care adoptions, the National Heart Gallery recently made Indiana its first stop on a national tour. It ended a two-week run at City Market in Indianapolis Feb. 15. 

Photos and short biographies of foster children needing a home are also displayed on the DCS website. A Picture Book is available at

While DCS has dramatically improved its ability to bring permanency to children, there are still approximately 300 Hoosier children currently in foster care in need of a forever home. DCS and its local partners continue to look for opportunities to find permanency for all children in care and ask the community to join in this most important endeavor. 

About Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS):

DCS is committed to protecting children who are victims of abuse or neglect.  The Agency’s primary goal is to safely keep these children at home with their families by offering appropriate support services.  If safety continues to be a concern, relative or foster care placements are necessary.  DCS also oversees adoptions from the foster care system and manages the Child Support Bureau.  The Kids First Trust Fund, supported by the sale of ‘Kids First’ specialty automobile license plates, subsidizes child abuse and neglect prevention programs.  Child abuse/neglect hotline:  800.800.5556.


For more information:                                        

Ann Houseworth                                                  

Communications Director                                            


Rich Allen

Assistant Communications Director



May Is National Foster Care Month 2014

Building Blocks Toward Permanent Families

Source: The Children’s Bureau & U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

May is National Foster Care Month, a month set aside to acknowledge foster parents, family members, vol-unteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections. During National Foster Care Month, we renew our commitment to ensuring a bright future for the nearly 400,000 children and youth in foster care, and we celebrate all those who make a meaningful difference in their lives.

For more information click on the link below






Feb Newsletter Released!
Read it here!

DCS Press Release!

For immediate release Tuesday, January 31, 2012 

National Heart Gallery part of Big Game Celebration

Exhibit at City Market through Feb. 15 

INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) announced today the National Heart Gallery is in town and the Agency encourages football fans to stop by and see the exhibit. The Gallery is only four blocks northeast of the Super Bowl Village and will be there through Feb. 15. Viewing is free on the mezzanine at City Market, 222 East Market St., Indianapolis. 

The National Heart Gallery is a compelling, traveling photographic exhibit created to find forever families for children in foster care. Launched last November—National Adoption Awareness Month—to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first Heart Gallery in New Mexico in 2001, the exhibit premiered on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on November 1. 

By using the talents of professional photographers who volunteer their time, the individual spirit and true personality of each child is captured. Heart Gallery photographs sometimes show shy children wrapped in their security blankets, girls dressed up as princesses, boys hugging dogs and siblings laughing together. The children all have one thing in common: they need and deserve families that will give them the unconditional love they have never experienced. 

About 408,000 children live in foster care in the United States. More than 100,000 are legally available for adoption and in need of adoptive families. Many of these children are older, in sibling groups that want to be adopted together or have special needs. Each year over 20,000 youth ‘age out’ of foster care without ever finding permanent homes. There are currently about 300 Hoosier children in foster care still in need of a forever home. 

The National Heart Gallery features one child from each state plus the District of Columbia. Each image is approximately 4 X 6 ft. Heart Gallery exhibits have resulted in 5,000 children around the country finding adoptive families. To view the children:

There are more than 120 Heart Galleries across the United States, all designed to increase the number of adoptive families for foster children needing homes. Indiana’s Heart Gallery was launched in 2007. 

City Market hours for National Heart Gallery viewing:

Tuesday, Jan. 31: 6 am – 9 pm

Wednesday, Feb. 1 – Friday, Feb. 3: 6 am – midnight

Saturday, Feb. 4: 8 am – midnight

Sunday, Feb. 5: 9 am - midnight

Monday, Feb. 6 through Wednesday, Feb. 15:

Monday – Friday: 6 am – 9 pm

Saturday: 8 am – 9 pm

Sunday: Closed 



Dec Newsletter Released!
Read it here!

Oct Newsletter Released!
Read it here!

DCS Press Release

For immediate release Thursday, October 27, 2011

WHO:      Indiana Department of Child Services 

WHAT:    National Adoption Awareness Month Kick-Off

WHEN:     Tuesday, November 1, 2011, 10 am

WHERE:   Indiana Statehouse Rotunda North Atrium, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis

WHY:       The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) has much to celebrate. November is National  Adoption Awareness Month, a time to not only focus on adopting children currently in foster care, but to thank adoptive parents that have created forever families.

                 DCS Director James Payne will keynote the event with remarks about strategies to help raise  awareness about Indiana foster children waiting for adoption.  He’ll also talk about what DCS is  doing to recruit adoptive parents. He’ll be joined on stage by a veteran adoptive parent who has  also spent two decades as a foster parent. In addition, a waiting child will tell the audience “what he’s looking for in an adoptive parent.” (This teen will be available for media interviews but reporters are asked to please be sensitive with questions for the youth.)

                 Selected portraits from the Indiana Heart Gallery will also be on display during the event. These compelling photographic images of children in need of adoptive families are the products of  professional Indiana photographers who donate their skills and time to capture the true personality of waiting children.  The pictures sometimes show shy children wrapped in their security blankets, girls dressed up as princesses, boys hugging dogs and siblings laughing together.

                  (A volunteer photographer will be available for media interviews during the event.)      

For more information:

   Ann Houseworth, Communications Director, 317.234.5794,

   Rich Allen, Assistant Communications Director, 317.232.4424,

September Newsletter Released!
Read it here!



September is Hunger Action Month, when we ask everyone in Northeast Indiana and across America to take action to fight hunger in their community, all month long.


Hunger Action Month is your opportunity to join a movement that has a real and lasting impact on our effort to feed more Hoosiers than ever before. Whether it’s by advocating and raising awareness, making donations, or volunteering, individuals can find the way that’s right for them to make a difference during Hunger Action Month.

Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana, 999 East Tillman Road, Fort Wayne, IN,  46816, 260-447-3696

August Newsletter Released!
Read it here!



For immediate release Friday, August 19, 2011
Indiana Dept. of Child Services Announces New Foster Care Reimbursement Rates
Per Diem Changes Effective January 1

INDIANAPOLIS—As a result of a legal settlement, today the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) released a new foster care per diem rate schedule. The reimbursements become effective January 1, 2012. With the new rates, the supervision needs of the child and his or her age, rather than the licensure level of the foster home, will determine the rate at which foster parents are reimbursed. All of the approximately 4,900 foster homes currently licensed in Indiana will be affected—about 2,700 managed by DCS and about 2,200 managed by Licensed Child Placement Agencies.

“The new rates we’re unveiling today are the direct result of a survey of our foster parents by the Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research,” said James W. Payne, DCS Director. “These new rates focus foremost on the needs of the child, which are our most important considerations when it becomes necessary for us to remove a child from his or her home for their own safety.”

In 2009 DCS announced an intention to implement a 10 percent decrease in the foster care daily per diem, from $25 to $22.50. The American Civil Liberties Union then filed a lawsuit on behalf of several foster parents. A Federal District Court froze the rates at the 2009 level until DCS could demonstrate a clear methodology for covering the costs of caring for a foster child.

As a part of a legal settlement, DCS agreed to develop a rate setting method to determine foster care rates. To that end, DCS drafted administrative rules and held public hearings to gather input on the proposed methodology. As set out in the rules, the foster care rates cover the reasonable costs of caring for a foster child including, but not limited to, food, clothing, shelter, daily supervision, a child’s personal incidentals and travel for visitation and school. DCS engaged the Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research to survey Indiana foster parents to understand the actual costs incurred by foster care households associated with caring for foster kids. (A copy of the study may be viewed at

Some children need enhanced supervision, which is categorized as Foster Care with Services, Therapeutic Foster Care or Therapeutic Plus.  Rates for these categories of supervision were determined by a formula using the Ball State University Foster Care rate and the current rates paid to service providers for these enhanced services.  Like the Foster Care rates, these are also broken out by age group.  A nationally-recognized assessment tool, the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths assessment (CANS), along with input from child and family team meetings, will be used by DCS to determine the category of care the child requires.

Beginning January 1, in addition to per diem rates described above, foster parents may receive additional payments to help purchase items that will benefit the child. The personal allowance will increase from $100 to $300 annually which can help children in care participate in activities such as sports, band or scouts, attend events such as a prom, or provide for other extracurricular fees. (See list of additional payments below.)

“The special allowances of $50 for the child’s birthday and $50 during the December holiday season will help foster parents see the child receives things during these gift-giving occasions,” said Payne. “While a child is in out-of-home care, it is important the child receive the level of supervision necessary but also for the child to celebrate a birthday or remain involved in extracurricular activities. Foster children are no different than any other child.”

About Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS):

DCS is committed to protecting children who are victims of abuse or neglect.  Family case managers’ primary goal is to keep children at home with their family though sometimes placing them in temporary foster care is necessary to ensure their safety.  The Kids First Trust Fund, supported by the sale of ‘Kids First’ specialty automobile license plates, subsidizes child abuse and neglect prevention programs. DCS also oversees foster-care adoptions and the child support bureau.  In collaboration with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, Books for Youth is targeting a Super Goal for the Super Game:  collect 750,000 books for foster kids by Feb. 2012.  Child abuse/neglect hotline:  800.800.5556.


For more information:
   Ann Houseworth, Communications Director

   Rich Allen, Ass’t. Communications Director



The standard per diem payments effective January 1, 2012 are:



Category of Supervision

Infant – 4 years

5 – 13 years

14 – 18 years

Foster Care




Foster Care with Services




Therapeutic Foster Care




Therapeutic Plus






In addition to the above described per diem payment, foster parents may receive the following payments to purchase items for the benefit of the child:

  1. Initial Clothing Allowance - DCS may provide the foster family with an initial clothing and personal items allotment at the time of placement of up to $200 based on the child's need.
  2. Liability Insurance – DCS will provide foster care liability insurance for foster parents through a contract with the Indiana Foster Care and Adoption Association (IFCAA). Foster parents no longer need to be members of IFCAA to obtain the insurance.
  3. Personal Allowance – DCS will reimburse foster parents up to $300 annually for each child in placement. Foster parents may request reimbursement for personal allowance items once the child has been in placement for at least 8 days. The items that fall within the personal allowance will be defined in DCS Policy.
  4. Special Occasion Allowance – DCS will provide a $50 special occasion allowance on the child’s birthday and a $50 special occasion allowance during the December holidays.  
  5. Travel Reimbursement – DCS will reimburse foster parents for travel in excess of 162[1] miles if the travel is for visitation, school, physical/behavioral health appointment or other DCS required travel which will be set out in the Indiana Foster Parent Resource Guide.


[1] The foster care per diem covers 162 miles per month for travel as determined by the Ball State Study. If foster parents travel in excess of 162 miles for the reasons cited in 5 above, foster parents can invoice DCS for the additional travel.                                      ###


From the Children's Defense Fund

Lessons Learned From the Ark

Marian Wright Edelman

As we take stock of the current state of America's children and the desperate need to change direction
for the future, some ancient wisdom can give us a blueprint for setting sail and getting our children
to safe harbor. Everything our nation and all of us need to know about life can be learned from Noah's Ark according to an anonymous writer.

Lesson One: Don't miss the boat.

The United States is going to miss the boat to lead and compete in our globalizing world because we are not preparing the majority of our
children for the future. The greatest threat to America's national security comes from no enemy without but from our failure to invest in and
educate all of our nation's children. Every 11 seconds of the school day a child drops out. A majority of children in all racial and income groups and almost 80 percent and more of Black and Hispanic children in public schools cannot read or do math at grade level in fourth, eighth, or 12th grade-if they have not already dropped out. Any nation that is failing to prepare all of its children for productive work and life needs to correct course-now. And all of us-parents, educators, community, religious and political leaders- need to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. God did not make two classes of children.  Every single child needs and deserves a quality education.

Lesson Two: We are all in the same boat.

Many Americans may not like or think they have any self interest in assuring a fair playing field for other people's children-especially poor and minority children, but Black, Hispanic and other children of color will constitute a majority in 2019. Isn't it better to have them supporting the Social Security and Medicare systems and making sure a productive workforce is in place, rather than for us to be supporting them in costly ineffective prisons? Our states are spending three times more on average per prisoner than per public school student. I can't think of a dumber investment policy. We need a paradigm change from punishment to prevention and early intervention.

Lesson Three: Plan ahead.

It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark. Tomorrow is today and children have only one childhood. They need to be healthy now. They need
quality early childhood experiences now.  They need first-rate schools with first-rate teachers and stimulating high quality out of school time programs
now. And they need to know that there is a good-paying job after college in their future. We must resist our quick fix, quarterly profit driven culture and invest in the future.

Lesson Four: Don't listen to the critics and naysayers.

Just get on with the job that needs to be done to educate our children. If you don't want to be criticized, don't say anything, do anything, or be anything.
Stand up and fight for children, all of them.

Lesson Five: For safety's sake, travel in pairs.

Better still, travel in groups able to make a ruckus loud enough to be heard. We have got to stop those who are rhetorically hijacking Dr. King's and America's  dream but subverting his call to end the poverty, excessive militarism and excessive individualism that's killing the dreams and hopes of millions of children. How can we justify massive tax giveaways to the richest two percent and continue tax loopholes for wealthy corporations at a
time when 15.5 million children are languishing in poverty?

Lesson Six: Remember that the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic
by professionals.

We must all use our citizen power, and vote to wrest our ship of state from that small group of experts and powerful corporate leaders who recklessly jeopardized all of our lives for personal gain. Use your own power to make a difference.

Final Lesson: Build your future, build our children's future and our nation's future on high ground.

Let's leave our nation and world better than we found it-more just, more hopeful, more peaceful, more productive, and more unified. This may be the first
time in our history when our children and grandchildren will be worse off than their parents and grandparents. We must correct course with urgency and do whatever is necessary to get them to safe harbor.

We have pushed so many of our children into the tumultuous sea of life in small and leaky boats without survival gear and compass. I hope God will forgive us and help our children to forgive us. I hope we will work together with urgency to build the transforming movement required to give all of our children the anchors of faith and love, the rudder of hope, the sails of health and education, and the paddles of family and community, to keep them safe and strong when life's sea gets rough.

Click here to share your comments and find out what others are saying.

Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children's Defense Fund
whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a
Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral
Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of
caring families and communities. For more information go to

Mrs. Edelman's Child Watch Column also appears each week on The Huffington Post.

July Newsletter Released!
Read it here!

Taxpayer Adoption Credit Info!
Read it here!



Featuring Free Children’s Museum Membership to Licensed Foster Families, Books for Youth Backpack Distribution, BLUE, Colts Cheerleaders, Colts in Motion Traveling Museum

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) and the Indianapolis Colts will team up with The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to sponsor a day of fun for Indiana foster families. The event, Wednesday, July 20 from 10 am to 5 pm at the Museum (3000 North Meridian St.), features free admission for licensed foster families, a chance to visit with BLUE, the Colts mascot, and get autographs from the Colts Cheerleaders. In addition, the first 50 foster children to register for the celebration will receive a Books for Youth backpack filled with 25 age-appropriate books.

The event is one of many across the state to demonstrate appreciation to the 5,000 licensed foster families that care for the over 9,700 Indiana children currently in foster care.

“When children, through no fault of their own, are victims of abuse or neglect we often must make the difficult decision to remove them from their families,” said James W. Payne, DCS Director.

“If we are unable to locate appropriate relatives, we rely on foster families to provide the safety, stability and love these children desperately need during this most vulnerable time. These families work with DCS staff, the courts, medical professionals, other social welfare professionals and more to ensure the ongoing well-being of these children entrusted to their care. Our partnerships with the Indianapolis Colts and The Children’s Museum provide opportunities for these children to enjoy educational and special moments that will last a lifetime,” he added.

During Foster Family Day, licensed foster parents can renew or register for their free one-year membership to The Children’s Museum. This membership includes two adults, all foster children as well as any biological children under 21 living in the same household. With the free membership, foster families can enjoy all the wonders of the world’s largest children’s museum for an entire year.  

Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders will sign autographs from 11 am till 1 pm and foster families will have a chance to explore the museum with BLUE from noon to 1 pm. Colts in Motion, the official traveling museum of the Indianapolis Colts, will also be available on the Museum’s front plaza from 11 am till 1 pm.

Children’s Museum visitors can participate in the Foster Family Day celebration by bringing a new or gently used book to donate to Books for Youth. Book donors can save $3 off their admission price (July 20 only; one discount per family). Visitors will also be able to purchase the limited edition BLUE backpack at the Children’s Museum Gift Shop. Backpacks are only $22 and for each one purchased, a Books for Youth backpack filled with 25 age-appropriate books will be donated to a foster child.

Foster Family Day Schedule, Wednesday, July 20:

10 am to 5 pm – Registration/Renewal Foster Family Children’s Museum Free Membership

10 am to 5 pm – Special Edition BLUE Backpack Purchase Opportunity (Gift Shop)

10 am to 5 pm – $3 Off Museum Admission for Donating Book to Books for Youth

11 am to 1 pm – Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders Autographs

11 am to 1 pm – Indianapolis Colts in Motion Traveling Museum (front plaza)

12 noon to 1 pm – Tours of the Museum with Indianapolis Colts Mascot, BLUE

About Books for Youth:

The program started in 2006 through a partnership between the Indianapolis Colts and the Department of Child Services. Its goal is to provide every foster child in Indiana with a personal backpack filled with 25 books. To date, the Colts and DCS have collected more than 500,000 books statewide and are currently in the process of distributing the books to foster children across Indiana. Books for Youth is targeting a Super Goal for the Super Game:  collect 750,000 books for foster kids by Feb. 2012.  For more information:

About DCS:

Indiana’s Department of Child Services (DCS) is committed to protecting children who are victims of abuse or neglect.  DCS case managers’ primary focus is on keeping children safely at home with their family.  However, sometimes it’s necessary to place kids in temporary foster care to ensure their safety.  An important agency initiative is the Kids First Trust Fund and DCS also administers special-needs adoptions and the child support bureau.  In collaboration with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, the Books for Youth program is targeting a Super Goal for the Super Game:  collect 750,000 books for foster kids by Feb. 2012.  Indiana’s Hotline to report child abuse or neglect:  800.800.5556.

For more information:

Ann Houseworth, Communications Director


Rich Allen, Assistant Communications Director


Jerry attended Open Minds Conference in Baltimore!

The Conference was June 15-17, 2011

The OPEN MINDS Planning & Innovation Institute is a three day event that will have a different focus each day.

Day 1 - Strategic Planning In a Time of Change

Day 2 - Innovation for Successful Positioning

Day 3 - Marketing for Success


June Newsletter Released!
Read it here!





Happy Father's Day!

Let policymakers know that parents want children to be safe in child care

June 15, 2011

In recognition of Father’s Day, it is time to let policymakers know that parents want children to be safe in child care. We are very excited to begin our newest campaign, Support Background Checks for Child Care Providers and we look forward to working with all of our members to gain support nationwide.

Currently, there is no national safeguard to ensure that the more than 11 million children in child care are cared for by providers without a criminal record. A comprehensive background check is the only way to ensure our children are in the care of people without a criminal background.  A comprehensive check includes a fingerprint check against state and federal records, a check of the sex offender registry and the child abuse registry.

We are looking to all of our members to help spread the word. We encourage you to post links to the campaign and petition sites on your websites, Facebook pages, and include information in your emails. Feel free to use the new background check logo (above!) as you are raising awareness for the cause. If you would like any support in reaching out online, please contact Kim Kober, Parent Network Associate, at


Together  we can raise visibility about the need to pass background check  legislation, which will help keep children safe in child care – working  families depend on it!

















DCS Foster Care Rule Changes  Effective 7/1/2011!
Read it here!

May Newsletter released!
Read it here!


National Foster Care Month Letter to the Editor of Fort Wayne Journal Gazette Published 5/22/2011

May is National Foster Care Month; hats off to the heroes around the country and locally who provide care to our foster care population.

Phoenix Institute’s Executive Director and Child and Family Program Director joined 150 members of the Foster Family Treatment Association (FFTA) to go to Capitol Hill to discuss legislation with key staff people that would affect the vulnerable population of foster youth.  We recognize that budget cuts must be made at the federal level but we implored key staff to think very carefully before balancing the budget on the back of our most vulnerable population. A population that has no voice, no money, and cannot vote.

Phoenix Institute is a proud member of the FFTA, which is the only national association of providers of Treatment Foster Care representing more than 400 foster care child placing agencies in 44 states that provide treatment foster care to over 50,ooo children and youth  and a larger array of services to over 600,000 vulnerable families and youth in our Nations foster care system. FFTA continues to be our voice on capitol hill to strongly opposed the federal block –granting of Medicaid spending as well as any proposal that would arbitrarily cap or otherwise deeply cut federal Medicaid  spending ,the availability of which is crucial to the vulnerable families and youth in our Nations foster care system.

Indiana has already begun the difficult task of making serious cuts, and as a result services for youth have been forced to start doing more with less.  Allen County’s school systems can serve as an example of the significant cuts that are being made for our youth. In foster care, concessions have been made by both foster parents and agencies; luckily, Phoenix Institute continues to be able to support our families like we have for the last 14 years. National Foster Care Month serves as a platform to take a stand for this vulnerable population by contacting our Senators and Representatives on capital hill to say “Foster kids need continued Medicaid coverage” or by contacting local state representatives and saying that “Adoptive parents deserve the subsidies that were promised to them at adoption.”  

National Foster Care Month can also be a time for self-reflection; “Would I make a good foster parent?” At Phoenix Institute we recognize foster parenting as a very specialized commitment needing a lot of support, nurturing, training, listening, and understanding. There is not a template because every foster child and every family is different. Phoenix strives to provide activities that build a sense of family among our parents and youth.  Foster parents feel that they are not only supported but appreciated for the hard work that they do. Some examples of this support include; on-going training, tutoring services for youth, monthly Mom’s night, monthly Multi-family night, holiday parties, and a profit-sharing bonus system.  We invite you to learn more about becoming a Phoenix Institute foster parent, browse through our web site If you have questions, click the “Get in Touch” button on the website or call us at (260) 424-0411.



Through a partnership between the University of Phoenix and the National Foster Parent Association NFPA is providing 15 full tuition scholarships redeemable at any University of Phoenix campus for youth in foster care, former foster youth and foster parents. Any foster parent applying for a First Chance Scholarship must be a member of NFPA or become a member at the time of application.

The First Chance Scholarship is offered on a competitive basis and membership in NFPA is not a guarantee of receiving the scholarship.

Recipients may choose any campus they want to attend, including the online campus. The program will be administered by the NFPA under the First Chance Scholarship umbrella. The scholarship application is available online at:

The deadline for submitting applications is July 1, 2011.


 This May in recognition of National Foster Care Month, FCAA is launching a national I Am Here campaign. I Am Here is a multi-media campaign to raise awareness about the needs of foster youth, and to let youth in care know that their alumni family is here for them.  Our messages will be on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and email, reaching youth and alumni all across the U.S.! 

You can watch the I Am Here video by clicking here.  Then, post the video on your Facebook  page and send a Tweet to your network.  Join our efforts to transform foster care, and help us show the 450,000 youth in care that together, I Am Here. 


Voter Poll: “Don’t Cut Kids!”
A poll commissioned by First Focus shows that keeping kids’ programs off the budget cutting table is a top voter priority. Conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, the survey’s key findings include:

    ·Voters believe children in America fare poorly.

    ·Children’s programs are most important to voters relative to other potential program cuts.

    ·Cutting programs is not the only option. Voters support other options for reducing the deficit.

To download the poll results and a summary of key findings, click here.


Who We Serve

We provide services and support for families and children from birth to age 18 with a wide range of trauma-related problems and concerns including:

04/22/2011 Phoenix's April Newsletter has been published. Read it here!

03/17/2011 Phoenix's March Newsletter has been published. Read it here!

02/11/2011 Phoenix's February Newsletter has been published. Read it here!

01/16/2011 Phoenix's January Newsletter has been published. Read it here!

12/17/2010 Phoenix's December Newsletter has been published. Read it here!

11/16/2010 Phoenix's November Newsletter has been published. Read it here!

10/25/2010 Phoenix's October Newsletter has been published. Read it here!

09/21/2010 Phoenix's September Newsletter has been published. Read it here!

07/20/2010 Phoenix's July Newsletter has been published. Read it here!

06/20/2010 Phoenix's June Newsletter has been published. Read it here

05/25/2010 Phoenix's May Newsletter has been published. Read it here!

05/03/10 Phoenix's April Newsletter has been published. Read it here!


Researchers discover method to objectively identify PTSD

By measuring magnetic fields in the brain, researchers have identified biomarkers in those exhibiting post-traumatic stress disorder

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (January 20, 2010) – Researchers at the University of Minnesota and Minneapolis VA Medical Center have identified a biological marker in the brains of those exhibiting post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

A group of 74 United States veterans were involved in the study, which for the first time objectively diagnoses PTSD using magnetoencephalography (MEG), a non-invasive measurement of magnetic fields in the brain. It's something conventional brain scans such as an X-ray, CT, or MRI have failed to do.

The ability to objectively diagnose PTSD is the first step towards helping those afflicted with this severe anxiety disorder. PTSD often stems from war, but also can be a result of exposure to any psychologically traumatic event. The disorder can manifest itself in flashbacks, recurring nightmares, anger, or hypervigilance.

With more than 90 percent accuracy, researchers were able to differentiate PTSD patients from healthy control subjects (250 people with clean mental health) using the MEG. All behavior and cognition in the brain involves networks of nerves continuously interacting – these interactions occur on a millisecond by millisecond basis. The MEG has 248 sensors that record the interactions in the brain on a millisecond by millisecond basis, much faster than current methods of evaluation such as the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which takes seconds to record.

The measurements recorded by the MEG represent the workings of tens of thousands of brain cells. This recording method allowed researchers to locate unique biomarkers in the brains of patients exhibiting PTSD.

The findings are published January 20 in the Journal of Neural Engineering and led by Apostolos Georgopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., and Brian Engdahl., Ph.D. – both members of the Brain Sciences Center at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and University of Minnesota.

"These findings document robust differences in brain function between the PTSD and control groups that can be used for differential diagnosis and which possess the potential for assessing and monitoring disease progression and effects of therapy," Georgopoulos said.

Besides diagnosing those with PTSD, the researchers also are able to judge the severity of how much they are suffering, which means the MEG may be able to be used to gauge the how badly patients are impacted by other brain disorders.

It is likely that the study will be replicated and administered to a larger group to assure the accuracy of its results.

This work, specifically on detecting post-traumatic stress disorder, follows success in detecting other brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis, using MEG, as reported in September 2007.


The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

02/01/2010 Read the January Phoenix Guardian Angel Gazette here!

As part of our campaign to stop child abuse and neglect deaths, The Every Child Matters Education Fund and its partners--the National Association of Social Workers, the National Children's Alliance, and the National District Attorneys Association--are running ads that urge Congress to address the fatalities that claim the lives of innocent children every day. The ads ask Congress to hold hearings, provide emergency funds to stop state cuts in child protective services, and to adapt a national strategy to end maltreatment deaths.

The advertisements are running in Roll Call, The Hill, and Politico, three papers read by many members of Congress and their staffs. The goal of the ad campaign is to attract national attention and bring federal resources to bear on what has become a national tragedy.

If our national lawmakers hear from you at the same time they see the ads, we can make a greater impact on their collective consciousness. Please e-mail a letter to your Representative and Senators today.

Click Here to send your message.

View this ad and read an accompanying report titled "The Growing Crisis in Child Protection: A sampling of news stories from across America," here.

Thank you for your help to make children a political priority


Phoenix Institute Mom's were treated like royalty for Mother's Day, receiving a Vera Bradley piece as a gift. For the mother's who could make it, Agency Director Sue Puff hosted our foster mother support group in her home with a wonderful home cooked meal (thanks Board President Diana Lelonick) and individual mini massages from a professional therapist.

We will enjoy another Mom's Night on Wednesday, June 17, 2009.

Multi Family was on May 14 and featured an alumni from the foster care system who came and talked to staff, parents and kids about surviving and thriving in foster care. Our guest was very motivational. Multi Family will meet again on June 11, 2009.

For our kids receiving Independent Living services, staff will be taking the kids to Ball State University for an all day conference on June 11, 2009. This will be the second consecutive year for this important event.

Child and Family Program Director Nancy Hormann, B.S. and Multi Family Facilitator Jan Boggs, MSW, attended a three day training of trainers for Reactive Attachement Disorder in Fort Wayne in February. Nancy and Jan are obligated to provide two different training opportunities regarding this subject over the next two years. The first training will take place for the Lifeline staff beginning in July, 2009.

Agency Director, Sue Puff, ACSW, LCSW, has been appointed as a reprenstative for the Foster Family Treatment Association for their foster care committee.

Mimi Cook, B.S., Family Support and Special Services, joined some of our foster youth in the recent " Walk me Home" event in May, which was a fundraiser for the Foster Care Association of Allen County. This event was held at Foster Park.

Phoenix Institute continues to strive to make foster care a positive experience for both children and parents. One of the issues that we address is tutoring which is a service that we offer to any student in need of it.


Foster Parents Appreciation Month! Click here to read our letter for you!


We have multiple training opportunities to offer to Foster Parents!  Please see this page for all information regarding the sessions. 


We have new Foster Parents we would like to welcome to the Agency!

We would also like to welcome our newest staff member, Jackie Rossero.


Phoenix Foster Care has just released a commercial!  Watch it here! 


Foster mother Louise Green was selected as MOTHER OF THE YEAR by Oakridge Temple.  Congratulations Louise and thanks for dedication to motherhood! 


Mom's night out is scheduled for Wednesday, May 14 at Applebee's on West Jefferson.  This is a great time for food and fellowship!


Current parents can now download their monthly Treatment form here.  You can submit this form via e-mail, or mail it in to Phoenix Institute.


Sue Puff and Nancy Hormann were interviewed for the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce Radio show on Monday, April 21.  The interview will air at noon on Saturday, May 3 on 1250 am and 102.9 fm.  Tune in to hear the interview about Phoenix Institute!


The Phoenix Institute foster mothers enjoyed dinner at Los Lomas Mexican Restaurant on April 16 for Mother's Night Out.  Dad's night is Friday, April 18 at the Billiard Cafe. More information and pictures coming soon!


Brock Wallace adoption Brock Wallace Adoption 2 Wallace Adoption Brock adoption

Our very own Brock Wallace has been adopted by a loving family! 

04/09/2008 - Our own Demetra Davis gave her testimony about surviving abuse at "Take Back the Night" at Tri-State University.

We would just like to thank Demetra for sharing her witness and strength in front of all of the attendees.

03/13/2008 - Phoenix Institute enjoyed multi family night as we always do on the second Tuesday of the month!

It was decided that Mom's night will be held at Cheddars Restaurant on Coldwater Road on Wednesday, March 19 at 6:30.  In February, our Mom's enjoyed dinner at Logan's steakhouse near Jefferson Pointe.
A new Dad's night will also premiere on Friday, March 21 at 6:30 at the Billiard Cafe!  Hopefully this new support group for Dad's will take off and be as successful as our mother's support group! 

03/08/2008 - Phoenix Institute goes to the capital!

Phoenix Institute enjoyed a few days in our country's capital this past week. Washington D.C was an amazing experience for all who went, and we are thankful that we were able to go. You can click on the few pictures below to see an expanded version of our trip to D.C! Read the entire story here!

Phoenix Institute visits Washington D.C! Phoenix Institute visits Washington, D.C! Senator Lugar DC Trip Senator Lugar's Office on the Washington DC Trip

02/18/2008 - Web site launched!

Our new website will provide you with information about foster parenting, services we provide to
our foster children and parents alike.  Our website will be updated frequently, so check back as
often as you can.




Hunger Action Month is Here