Living Color Award Recipient Stephanie Benally

By August 22, 2022General

The Living Color Award is a celebration of those who are working toward a more equitable and inclusive future in Utah. Utah Foster Care is honored to share that Stephanie Benally, Utah Foster Care’s Native Specialist has been selected as a recipient of this award.

An Interview with Utah Business

Here’s what Stephanie had to say…

“What organizations do you (or your company/org) find it most important to support? Why?”

“Three organizations that I strongly support are the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), the Adopt-A-Native Elder program, and Utah Foster Care. The NICWA is a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon, that works with tribal communities to protect Native American children and ensure their connectivity to their culture, family, and community. The Adopt-A-Native Elder program provides food, medical supplies, and resources to the Navajo elders that reside on the Navajo reservation. As a child, I witnessed my parents volunteer with the program since its inception, and they continue to volunteer with the program. Utah Foster Care is a nonprofit organization that recruits, trains, and supports foster parents in Utah.”

“What do you look forward to achieving?”

“I would like to increase the number of Native American foster families to care for our Native children that are in foster care. The message we share is “Native Home for Native Children.” It is important the message is shared that our Native children do better if they remain in the Native community. This message is shared not only in Utah but across the United States and in tribal communities. In a larger scope, the hope is to bring awareness to the shortage of Native foster families. In addition, I look forward to when Utah passes a state Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) law, which would continue to protect our Native children.”

Native Homes For Native Children

A Heritage Shared Is A Heritage Preserved

For American Indian/Alaska Native children in foster care, a Native foster or adoptive family can reduce trauma by allowing the children to continue practicing their culture and traditions. Tribal members are our best hope for finding, training, and supporting Native families to care for Native children in state care. We need Native families across the state in order to ensure that children removed from abusive or neglectful situations remain close to their family, friends, and support networks—and it’s tribal members who can encourage these folks to consider fostering children in their homes.

Questions about foster parenting in Utah?

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