By Kayla Maxfield, DCFS Resource Family Consultant.
For the past eleven years, Stephanie Olsen has made an incredible impact on the lives of so many children in foster care. As you read more about her incredible work, you will realize why the Utah Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) is honoring her as the 2017 Foster Mother of the Year for Salt Lake Region.
Not only has she taken eleven different placements into her home, she has taken in children who have experienced severe trauma and has been able to help them reach a place of healing and growth. Seven of them have found a permanent home with Stephanie and her husband Dan.
Stephanie has opened up her home for children that are harder to place. These include older teens and large sibling groups. She has also taken in children that were outside her preferences when DCFS desperately needed a placement and felt that she would be the best fit for these children.
While working these difficult and complex cases, all caseworkers have described working with Stephanie as “a pleasure” and say that they can see that she truly cares about each and every one of the children that come into her home.
“Stephanie has made an impact on my life because she reminds me why I do this difficult job,” says one caseworker.
“She is a constant reminder that foster parents like her are a blessing in the lives of children who do not have anyone else. Stephanie works all day, every day, to help the children in her home and gives them a life they would not have had if it were not for her. They are lucky to have her, and I feel lucky to work with such an amazing foster parent.”
The Utah Division of Child and Family Services is so grateful for her dedication of offering herself, love, and commitment to the children who need it most.