Foster Parent Coordinators support Foster Parents who have Family Care Agreements with the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) in the Okanagan, Similkameen, and Shuswap
- training and support
- newsletters & email notices
- information on MCFD policy
- a library of resource materials OFPA web site
- experiencing difficult foster care situations or
- going through the complaints / investigation process
Your Foster Parent Coordinator Provides:
We also provide help if you are:
Your Foster Parent Coordinator works with your local Foster Parents Association to make sure you have lots of opportunities to meet other Foster Parents.
We help MCFD with recruitment and act as liaison between them and their Foster Parents.
North Okanagan and Shuswap - Carmen Point
Carmen supports Foster Parents who contract with MCFD offices in Vernon and Salmon Arm. This includes Foster Parents who live in and around the communities of Salmon Arm, Sorrento, Sicamous, Enderby and Armstrong, Cherryville, Coldstream, Falkland, Lavington, Lumby, and Vernon.
Carmen and her husband have been foster parents for the past eleven years and have two biological children of their own. They have had the privilege of adding some great long term children to their family through fostering. Carmen believes strongly in fostering and enjoys sharing that passion with others.
Central Okanagan - Cyndee Sapiano
Cyndee provides support services to Foster Parents who contract with MCFD in the Central Okanagan. This includes Foster Parents who live in and around the communities of Kelowna, Lake Country, Peachland, and West Kelowna.
Cyndee joined OFPA in August 2017. She has a a profound passion for children, youth and families and has spent the last 25+ years working within this field in a variety of capacities including fostering. Cyndee has a personal interest in childhood abuse and trauma, attachment, mental health, intellectual and learning disabilities. Although she has a diploma in Early Childhood Education, and a degree in
Child and Youth Care, she believes it’s her life experiences (the good, bad,
and ugly) that define her and make her a perfect fit for this position.
South Okanagan: Lisa Birch
Caregivers who contract with MCFD offices in Penticton, Osoyoos or Princeton access support services from Lisa. This includes foster parents who live in and around the communities of Kaleden, Keremeos, Naramata, Okanagan Falls, Oliver, Osoyoos, Penticton, Princeton, Summerland, and Tulameen.
Late July 2018 Lisa joined the Okanagan Foster Parent Association to provide maternity coverage for Leann Pitman Manuel, who has been the South Okanagan Foster Parent Coordinator since 2015. In the way of a hand-over, Leann has been helping me to understand the process of becoming a foster parent and has helped me appreciate some of the challenges and rewards of foster parenting. I have never been a foster parent, however I bring a range of personal and professional experiences to my role. I've been a social worker for 20 years with training in motivational interviewing, conflict resolution and trauma. I'm a mother of three school age children and step-mother to four young adults.
- I am here to offer support and am a good listener. I look forward to hearing from you. I can be reached at the same phone number and email.
Executive Director: Joan Kirkbride
As Executive Director Joan is responsible for the successful leadership and management of OFPA. She supported Foster Parents in the Central Okanagan, as their Foster Parent Coordinator, from 1993 to 2014. Joan has a well-established relationship with caregivers and MCFD, as well as experience working with parent groups, managing programs, developing training and providing support.