Foster Community was born out of the Travis County Collaborative for Children (TCCC), a bold and ambitious initiative that works to bring system wide change to the way foster children in Travis County are cared for during, and after, their time in state custody.
Launched through Mission Capital in the fall of 2017 with support from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Foster Community is a network of nonprofits, government agencies and community leaders dedicated to increasing the number and diversity of healing foster and adoptive families in Central Texas.
In 2018, Partnerships for Children took on the role of backbone support for Foster Community and began to build a team of individuals from diverse backgrounds to continue the Foster Community movement.
Foster Community continued their foster care outreach efforts by increasing the number of non profit partner organizations that support children in care, hosted multiple information sessions in diverse communities, and attended countless events to bring awareness to the need for more engagement in foster care and adoption in Central Texas.
Using a grassroots community engagement strategy, a centralized website, and collaborative recruitment materials, Foster Community seeks to amplify the efforts of its partner organizations while reaching new populations to support children and their families in the child welfare system or risk of involvement in the child welfare system.
Cristal earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Mercyhurst University in 2018. During her time in undergraduate studies, she began her work in the child welfare space with Families United Inc. where she worked with foster care and adoptive case workers and learned how to write home studies. She earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from The University of Texas at Arlington. From there she continued to work with children and families in multiple capacities at My Health My Resources (MHMR) in Tarrant County. Most recently, she worked as the Family Engagement Specialist for Saint Louise House where her efforts went towards developing engagement initiatives for adults and families and overseeing the admissions process from start to finish.
As the Foster Community Manager, you can find Cristal, engaging communities, raising awareness surrounding the needs of families within the child welfare system, and building relationships with amazing organizations that are serving the foster care and adoption community. Cristal is most passionate about the Foster Community Mission to support communities and strengthen families. Cristal is most excited to rally the community to support foster families and to get more people licensed in Central Texas!
When Cristal is not working, she spends a lot of time with her cat Leo, her friends, and most importantly her family. Cristal moved to Austin over two years ago and still enjoys seeing what this great city has to offer. She enjoys going on hikes, trying new coffee shops, and trying different foods at any restaurant. As a Social Worker, Cristal lives by the Social Work Core Values and is very passionate about the work she does. She is excited to be back in the child welfare space and to support foster parents and caregivers and to make a difference in the community.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Look at these stories and know what a difference it makes to be a service volunteer, an emergency placement home, or a long-term foster home for a child in need.
Formerly in Foster Care
As a youth formerly in foster care, Alexandria expresses why volunteers can make a huge difference in a child’s life.
The Settlement Home for Children - Foster Adoption Program Director
Our Partner organizations see first-hand the need for more volunteers and foster families in Central Texas. There are so many ways you can help.
Isabel has been a bed time reader at Helping Hand Home for 12 years. She thinks volunteers bring hope to the children.
Kristen & Ryan
Kristen and Ryan White talk about adopting their fourth child and continuing to foster children in the community.
Children placed in foster care experience a significant amount of trauma. Jessica discusses how trauma-informed training helped equip her to become a foster mom.
Former Foster Parent
Mr. Joaquin was a foster parent to more than 250 children over a 21 year period. He is very grateful for the love and energy that the children gave him and his wife.