Mission Statement : The purpose of the Okanagan Foster Parents Association is to provide education and support to Foster Parents in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Shuswap.
Vision Statement : To enable Foster Parents to be better able to care for themselves and the children in their care because of the education and support provided by the Okanagan Foster Parents Association.
Satisfaction Survey Results 2014 (PDF)
Click here to view the 2015 OFPA Annual Report (PDF)
Board of the Okanagan Foster Parents Association:
The Board of Directors of the Okanagan Foster Parents Association may be reached by emailing the board.
President: Bonnie Thompson - Oliver, B.C.
Bonnie has been President of OFPA since it was formed in 2002. She has also been President of the Oliver Foster Parents Association since 1998.
Bonnie’s family fostered for 20 years, beginning in 1992, mostly as a level 3 resource. Bonnie has three “bonus” kids, children who have remained as part of her family and others that continue to keep in touch. Bonnie and her husband got in to fostering to give back to their community and she feels that helping foster parents be better at what they do is a big part of that.
Vice-President: Melanie Filiatrault - Kelowna, B.C.
Melanie and her family have been fostering since 1988. She has a great deal of experience and background with children with special needs, especially those who are medically fragile.
Melanie is a founding member of Okanagan Foster Parents Association. She has also been involved with the BCFFPA since 1995, serving in various positions on local and regional councils, and at the provincial level. In 2010 she stepped down from her position as President of the Provincial Board of BCFFPA after serving for 4 years.
Secretary: Julie Holmlund – Kelowna, B.C.
Julie joined the OFPA board in early 2015 and in the fall of 2015 stepped into the position of OFPA secretary. She served as vice president of the Kelowna Foster Parents Association (KFPA) from 2011 until 2013 and was president from 2013 to 2015. She currently serves on the board of the KFPA.
Julie and her husband Ken have been foster parents since 2009. They have adopted 5 children since their fostering career began. Julie believes that fostering isn't a job it’s a lifestyle. So many great stories and so many life lessons. Kids are amazing!
Treasurer: Corinna Stickney – Penticton, B.C.
Corinna joined OFPA in 2012 and took over as treasurer in 2013. She was previously the treasurer and finance committee chairperson of another non profit society for 5 years.
Corinna & her husband are currently caregivers through the MCFD Extended Family Program and have also been a restricted respite care home for a child in care. Corinna grew up in a family that provided foster care from the time she was five until she left home, and she has four siblings through adoption as well.
Corinna & her husband have three children and two grandchildren... so far!
Gerry Schalm - Princeton, B.C.
Gerry is a founding member of OFPA. He served for many years as Treasurer for the Okanagan Regional Council of BCFFPA, before becoming Treasurer for OFPA for several years.
Gerry and his family began fostering in 1979. In 1984 they adopted three children and took a sabbatical from fostering for a few years. In 1981 they became a specialized care home, until 2009 when they retired.
North Okanagan: Joe McFadden – Vernon, B.C.
Joe and his wife have been fostering in the Okanagan since 2009. They started fostering teens, but are now also enjoying the wonder of caring for preschoolers.
Joe is on the Board of the Vernon Foster Parent Association and has served on the Child in Care Committee and the Partnership Committee for more than five years. Joe was the founder and director of the Youth in Care Network in Vernon from 2010-2014. He has been very involved with the Roots Celebration, and currently works as Coordinator of this annual event. Joe joined OFPA in 2015
Member at Large: Sharon Kolenc – Vernon, B.C.
Sharon and her husband fostered in Vernon from 2008 to 2014, with the Intensive Support Program. Teen girls were their forte, and they fostered several into adulthood. Sharon and hubby have 3 grown, successful sons and 2 preschool grandchildren.
Sharon joined OFPA in 2012. It was the "pay cheques of the heart" that made fostering so rewarding for Sharon, and she is grateful to have this opportunity to continue supporting Foster Families.