Family Ark Celebrates National Foster Care Month

Family Ark Celebrates National Foster Care Month

Jeffersonville, Indiana- May, 19, 2020. May is National Foster Care Month, a time dedicated to highlight the difference that foster parents make in the lives of children and youth in our community. Traditionally, Family Ark celebrates their foster families with a celebration on their 83-acre campus, but with restrictions on social gatherings, the foster care department had to get creative to show their appreciation. “We knew that we had to find a way to celebrate our families in a big way. Now, more than ever they are acting as our child welfare heroes,” says Samantha Steele, Family Ark’s Foster Care Program Manager. Throughout the month, Family Ark Foster Parents were honored with social media posts, gift baskets, and yard signs that read, “A Family Ark Hero Lives Here.” Each year, Family Ark presents one family with the “Frieda Shouse Award.” Frieda Shouse was Family Ark’s longest serving foster parent, as she fostered with the agency for almost 41 years.  Her lifelong dedication to fostering children touched countless lives. When she passed away in September of 2013, Family Ark wanted to honor her legacy annually through the presentation of an award in her name. This year, the 7th Annual Frieda Shouse Award was presented to Matthew and Renee Watson for their foster parenting excellence. The family was honored with a Card My Yard sign that read, “Compassion in Action,” as a tribute to their service to children in care and to their execution of one of Family Ark’s core values. While the month of May brings many events and celebrations, it is also an important time to highlight the desperate need for additional foster parents in our community. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent, please call Family Ark at (812) 282-8479 or email

National Foster Care Month

May is National Foster Care Month, a time to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, 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 more than 20,000 children and youth in foster care in Indiana, and we celebrate those who make a meaningful difference in their lives. Have you or someone you know thought about becoming a foster parent? Family Ark is looking for adults with a big heart or that enjoy mentoring children/young adults. The great thing about Family Ark, your never alone, we offer all our foster families 24/7 availability and support, convenient training opportunities and a family like atmosphere. If you would like to learn more or see if we are the right fit for you, please give us a call today at (812) 288-6800.

Special Thanks to “Giving Hope to Families” Sponsors

Special thanks to all of the sponsors who helped make “Giving Hope to Families” such a success! We appreciate each and every one of you! Compassion Sponsors LMH Architecture The Hazel and Walter T. Bales Foundation Empowerment Sponsor Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Partnership Sponsor Falls City Brewing Company Dinner Sponsor Joe Huber Family Farm & Restaurant Hope Sponsors Callistus Smith Insurance MedPro R.E. Pierce & Associates Teachers Credit Union Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors Wilson & Semones Law Office Affordable Fundraising Help

Family Ark Behavioral Health Center

Family Ark is pleased to welcome Dr. Ora Frankel, M.D. and Dr. Kathleen Gallagher, PsyD., H.S.P.P. to our team! Dr. Frankel will serve as the Psychiatrist at Family Ark Behavioral Center and Dr. Gallagher will serve as Clinical Psychologist. Family Ark Behavioral Health Center is now taking appointments for mid-October and will offer medication management, out-patient services including counseling, substance abuse treatment, and diagnostic services for children, adolescents,and adults. Family Ark is open to the community and will initially accept Indiana Medicaid. The Center will expand to accept many private insurance carriers and private pay in the near future. The Center is located on the Family Ark campus at 215 Rainbow Way, Jeffersonville, Indiana. For more information about Family Ark Behavioral Health Center, including scheduling informational meetings, tours, or literature, please contact Laura Keeney, Community Outreach Specialist.  

Family Ark Featured in Extol Magazine

We’re excited to let you know that Family Ark and our President and CEO, Jeanean Jacobs are featured in the April/May edition of Extol Magazine! Extol, a new venture from Angie Fenton (who you may know from WHAS11 “Great Day Live!”), celebrates people, philanthropy, culture and more in Southern Indiana. We are so pleased to have this opportunity to present our mission and work in this beautifully detailed two-page feature. Pick up a copy and check out the content online here:  

3rd Annual Giving Hope to Families

Family Ark is pleased to announce the 3rd Annual Giving Hope to Families fundraiser on Thursday, April 16th from 6:00-9:00 pm. Lead sponsors are Laughlin Millea Hillman and The Hazel and Walter T. Bales Foundation. Our event promises great food from Stumler’s Catering, wonderful music by local musician, Todd Hildreth, and exciting live and silent auction items! During the event, we will be announcing the 2015 Champion for Families award winner. Helping to facilitate the festivities, Angie Fenton from WHAS11 “Great Day Live!” and “Extol Magazine” is returning as our Emcee for the evening! This event is a great way to show your support for Southern Indiana’s children and families in need.   To make your reservation, call (812) 288-6800 x207 or email to To purchase tickets online at Individual reservations are $50 each with table sponsorships still available.

March is National Social Work Month

Family Ark Case Manager, Samantha Steele   Social workers and the communities they impact will celebrate National Social Work Month throughout March. At that time, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) will also begin an eight-month celebration of its 60th anniversary.     At Family Ark we are proud of the social workers we employ and the service they provide to the community, children, and families. Our social work staff embody our mission to provide quality human service programs which promote positive change in the lives of children and families in the communities we serve. The also bring our vision of strengthening families to create a healthy community to fruition.   Those who enter the social work profession are a special group. They are not motivated by money or a routine schedule. Instead, they seek out daily challenges with the goal of improving the world. The adage holds true: think globally; act locally. In the case of our social workers, we are witness to a better world through the outcomes of the work they do with the children in our programs as well as their work with parents and foster parents.   Happy National Social Work Month to all the social workers at Family Ark and beyond!  

New Program Shaping New Futures

Youth involved in Family Ark’s new on-campus program – Day Reporting and Treatment Program – are busy working with Purdue Extension representatives in a recent Robotics activity and an upcoming Maps and Apps project. Daily, they address homework and learning with newly donated Chromebooks from the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County. They will provide community service soon with the Clark County Animal Shelter. They’ve also experienced the great outdoors with walks around Family Ark’s 83 acres of woodlands and open fields. Most recently, youth were excited to give back to other children through art and creativity by designing valentines that will be distributed to the children at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. Ashley Williamson, the Day Reporting and Treatment Program Supervisor says of her role, “I’m confident that by being a positive person in a child’s life along with my contributions to the program, I will help enrolled youth make better life choices and achieve success.” To find out more about this innovative program, email Ashley Williamson.

May is National Foster Care Month

May is National Foster Care Month, a time to recognize the role each of us plays in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care. In Jeffersonville and throughout southern Indiana, Family Ark has been partnering with area families just like yours to provide foster care services to children in need for over 40 years. New to being a foster parent but not new to the idea is Aungelique Walls, “My mom has been a foster parent since I was 13 years old so foster children have a special place in my heart. Being a foster parent is being that ‘bridge over troubled water‘ and I’m grateful for the opportunity.” Aungelique is a young working foster mom and has made plenty of room in her home and heart for some youngsters who really need her. Family Ark Case Manager, Sam Steele stated, “Aungelique has been an amazing addition to our foster parents! She came to us with lots of energy and eagerness to take on new challenges! She has an enormous amount of compassion for children and families and wants to help them by getting to know each one individually and helping them make positive changes. I am confident that Aungelique will make lasting impacts and I am excited to work with her.” If you’re an adult with a heart for children, Family Ark wants to talk with you! Family Ark is always looking for foster parents to help children who have experienced abuse, neglect or other trauma. Who are Foster Parents? Foster parents are individuals or couples aged 21 or older. Some have raised or are currently raising children, and others have never raised children. They come from all walks of life, various income levels and careers, different educational backgrounds, and are diverse in many ways. All share a desire to have a positive impact on the life of a child. For more information, please contact Mike Karman at Family Ark, 812-282-8479,

Explore the World of Foster Parenting

Foster care can be a temporary home for a child, allowing a birth family to safely work through a crisis followed by the child returning to a home that has had time to heal and grow. However, when that is not possible, Family Ark wants to ensure all children have a forever family—adoptive parents who will be there for all of life’s challenges and joys. We recently witnessed that joyous outcome for one of our foster families. Gary Stallings and Paul Kilbourne accepted placement of two brothers in December of 2011.  These two young boys demonstrated resiliency as they received substantial therapeutic support. Over time, it became clear that returning the boys to their birth family was not going to be an option.  “When reunification was obviously not going to occur we decided to inquire about adoption. Family Ark staff assisted us with a new home study and even showed up at the adoption hearing to support us,” Paul said.  The journey to giving these two boys a loving, permanent home took about a year, but on November 14th 2013, all parties were in a court room in Indianapolis to make the boys place in the Stallings/Kilbourne family official. “The feeling of becoming permanent parents to our two children was one of the happiest feelings in our lives. We highly suggest exploring the world of foster parenting.  The children make it so worthwhile,” Paul said afterwards. Family Ark wishes Gary, Paul, and their new family all the best! Post submitted by Jason Burgess, Family Ark Foster Care Case Manager 

Out and About

Our roles as employees of Family Ark offer so many rewards. As a Foster Parent Recruitment Specialist, I am charged with reaching out to the communities in Southern Indiana to recruit folks who are willing to give hope to a child by becoming a foster parent. Through this process of being “out and about” I meet so many people who want to help Family Ark in an assortment of ways. Whether someone is able to foster or not, I am always thrilled when they will listen as I describe the mission and work of our agency and they feel compelled to help in some way. The truth is we need your help in so many ways to strengthen families and to create a healthy community. One very simple way to help is to provide Family Ark with backpacks for children who are moving into or out of one of our foster homes to go back to a birth family, on to an adoptive family, or into an independent living situation. It is heart breaking to see a child’s belongings stuffed in black trash bags. With your help this will never happen for the children in our care. We are always in need of duffle bags, backpacks, book bags, etc. for our kids. You can bring them to our campus or send me an email and I will come and pick them up! As I said, I’m out and about!! Post by Mike Karman, Foster Parent Recruitment Specialist