Skip to main content

A Foster Mom’s Gift of Connection

By November 14, 2022November 21st, 2022General

Utah Foster Mom Shari Peña doesn’t just take in the child, she takes in the whole family. This is a foster mom’s gift of connection. It began when a young mother’s children were placed in foster care because of her substance use disorder and homelessness. That mother, Kylie, shares how difficult it was, looking Shari in the eye, let alone looking at herself in the mirror.

Fostering the whole family

“We don’t just take in the child, we take in the whole family.”

Kylei felt shame because her children were in foster care. With Shari’s love and her efforts to connect, Kylei found the drive to make it through a recovery program and remain in her children’s lives. Kylei has found Shari’s ongoing support and listening ear on a hard day to be what helps Kylei to continue on her journey of sobriety. Not only did Kylei not have to lose the relationships with her children but Shari’s children get to experience lifelong connections with Kylei’s children who are now, like family.

Give the gift of connection

Children are placed in foster care because they’ve experienced abuse or neglect. A child often comes into a foster home feeling out of place and lonely. Studies show strong evidence that connection can be healing.

“The more healthy relationships a child has, the more likely he will be to recover from trauma and thrive.”   – Dr. Bruce D. Perry

Learn how you can give the gift of connection –

  • Become a foster parent
    Utah children need you. Consider sharing your heart and home with local children. Learn more.
  • Donate a Connection Kit, Gift Cards, or Online
    Your donation helps us ensure Utah children don’t face the future alone. Gift the Gift of Connection or donate online.
  • Volunteer
    It takes a village. Sign up to be notified about volunteer opportunities.

Questions about foster parenting in Utah?

We have a team of people near you who can answer them!