Our Staff

The challenge that many great families face when considering foster care is not knowing where to begin. Our team of Foster Care Navigators understand those “pre-application” anxieties and are here to help.

Our staff of Navigators have fostered, licensed, adopted and advocated for children in the foster care system. As a team, we don’t view the licensing process as a systematic one. It is, essentially, a life changing decision that requires intimate understanding and patience, both of which we can provide.

Region 1a

  Lower Peninsula- Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Crawford, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Iosco, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon, & Wexford Counties.

Region 1b

Upper Peninsula- Alger, Baraga, Chippewa, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, Menominee, Ontonagon, & Schoolcraft Counties.

Aimee Rice lives in the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She and her husband, Luke, have an 18 year old foster daughter and two biological boys who are 14 and 10 years old and love almost every minute of helping them develop into their best selves.
Aimee graduated from Calvin College with a Bachelors in Social Work degree after completing an internship with teens in foster care. Aimee is passionate about kids in care, believing with her whole heart that children deserve families who love them. She spends the majority of her free time reading and learning as much as possible about foster care, attachment, trauma, and parenting.

Heather Jensen and her husband have been married for almost eleven years, and have three children ages four to ten. Having a B.S. in Elementary Education, Heather has extensive experience working with children. She spent many years prior to earning her degree working in early childhood education, substitute teaching, teaching children with disabilities at Bay Cliff Health Camp, and then five years as a Reading Interventionist for Escanaba Area Public Schools. After her second child was born, she took several years off to stay home with her young children. During that time, Heather continued to seek opportunities to learn and serve her community, and found a home with the Delta County Great Start Parent Coalition. There she helped to plan events for families with young children, joined the Great Start Collaborative as a Parent Representative, and was able to attend many trainings to improve her parenting skills and her understanding of early childhood development. It was at one of these trainings that she first connected with her foster care agency, and began the licensing process. She and her family welcomed their first foster child into their home in January of 2017. His adoption was finalized exactly 14 months later. Around the same time that her youngest child joined her family, she also took over managing the Foster Closet of Michigan–Delta County, eventually transitioning to an independent 501c3, the UP Foster Closet of Delta County. Heather feels that foster care has been a long-time calling for her. She is passionate about helping children, connecting with other people who have felt that same calling, and helping them begin their own journey into foster care. What Heather loves most about her job are the relationships she builds with prospective and current foster, adoptive, and kinship families.

Heather M resides in the western end of the Upper Peninsula, and has worked in the child welfare field since 2018, when she graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Superior with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology . Heather is currently an MSW student, and recently completed an 8 month internship with the Gogebic, Ontonagon and Iron tri-county Department of Health and Human Services. Heather is passionate about understanding trauma and the impact it has on children and families. She currently provides respite care, and is in the process of completing her foster care licensing. Heather believes that every child deserves safety and empathy, and to know that they are wanted and loved.

Just celebrating 23 years of marriage, Jill and her husband have two biological children, 1 adopted child and 1 more adoption in the process. After unofficially fostering several teens, they began their foster care journey in August of 2017. Jill has a degree in Early Childhood and has been a licensed daycare provider. She has always been a strong advocate for at risk youth. Jill believes that making connections and developing positive relationships is key to the success of our youth. She looks forward to connecting with potential and current foster families and providing support to build lasting relationships.

Region 2

Arenac, Bay, Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Ingham, Isabella, Lapeer, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair, & Tuscola Counties.

Region 3

Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, Ottawa, St. Joseph, & Van Buren Counties.

Sarah Bonzo-Tuinier and her husband Nate, have been foster parents for a little over four years. Prior to her role as a Foster Care Navigator she was a case manager who worked with and supported single mothers and their children. It was in her case manager role that she saw the need for more foster families in her community and what drove her to become a licensed foster parent. Sarah has her Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development which she received from Western Michigan University. Sarah enjoys being able to develop relationships with her clients and to share her foster care journey with them as they work toward licensure. In her free time, she enjoys exercising, reading, camping, and spending time outdoors.

Region 4

Region 4: Branch, Hillsdale, Jackson, Livingston, Lenawee, Monroe & Washtenaw Counties.

Region 5

Genesee, Macomb, Oakland & Wayne Counties.

Jen and her husband Denny have been foster parents since 2017. They are parents to five children, two of which were adopted via foster care. Jen is a passionate foster parent and advocate for youth. She is also the President of her local high school music booster organization, supporting parents, students and staff in their tradition of excellence through the musical arts. Jen is also a partner in a successful photography studio, with her favorite clients being high school seniors! In whatever time is left, you can find Jen, with her favorite Starbucks tea in hand, enjoying family time and traveling around our beautiful state of Michigan.