May 1 – Jessica and Jason – Ionia County

Every family has a story to tell.

Jessica and Jason were two working people with a busy life filled with friends, family, and commitments. They then, unexpectedly, started the journey of becoming licensed foster parents after accepting placement of a family member into their home. Their roles changed as they became relative caregivers and then licensed foster parents to a child with special medical needs.

Embracing the change.
Jessica and Jason poured their emotional and physical energy into understanding their new roles, as well as the demands. They became skilled at addressing specific medical needs, they became experts at schedules and routines, and exceeded all aspects of exceptional parenting. The change which occurred upon their family member’s placement into their home was quickly embraced and mastered by Jason and Jessica. So, they took on the task of becoming licensed foster parents. With the support of Iona County DHHS, Jason and Jessica became a “shining example of how families transition from relative placement to general foster care.”

From relative, to licensed foster parents, to educators, to advocates.
Jason and Jessica are strong supporters of the safe reunification of children in foster care to their families of origin. They go above and beyond to support birth parents by providing updates, transportation, pictures and words of encouragement. In addition to being a model foster family, Jessica dedicates hours of community service advocating for others to serve in the role of foster parent. She has presented at recruitment events and most importantly, shares the story of her family as a foster family. Jessica has given numerous presentations on how they can work with birth families successfully. Jessica and Jason truly put their hearts into fostering and are saddened when families are not able to achieve reunification. Jessica understands more than many the importance of family ~ birth family, foster family, extended family ~ Jessica and Jason have shown a dedication to and have filled the roles of all types of family as they believe and show that the dedication is what is best for children.