Mentors can help caregivers by providing emotional support, sharing their experiences, and connecting them to regional and state resources. They are experienced caregivers who are familiar with the supports and services available in their region. Mentors are also generalists who can help all types of caregivers statewide find the resources and support they need for successful placements. Mentors do not offer legal, medical, or mental health advice.
Community Engagement Coordinator,
Angela has been a foster parent for eight years and adopted three children. She has been involved in all aspects of foster care including reunifying kids with their parents, transitioning kids to relatives and respite care. Angela has a heart for seeing foster parents have the tools and support they need to navigate the system and her areas of expertise include adoption, communicating with DCYF, trauma focused care and children newborn through 13 years of age. She chooses foster care because children can never have too many people who love them.
CaRES Mentor: Region 1
April has been a licensed foster parent for 15 years. She has spent the last six years recruiting and supporting foster families. She enjoys encouraging caregivers and helping build caregiver support communities. She began her career working in child welfare as an intern for DCYF, getting a behind-the-scenes look at the dependency and foster care process (as well as heavy use of a copy machine!). April and her husband are nurturing a host of kiddos (bio, adopted, and foster).
CaRES Mentor: Regions 3 & 4
Deshanna has been working in the Foster Care field in various roles for six-plus years. She has been a visit supervisor, a case manager, and is a current volunteer Child Appointed Advocate in Pierce county. Most recently, she worked at Amara as a Foster Care Specialist. Along with these roles within the system, she is also a kinship caregiver. Deshanna’s passion for working with children and families in foster care comes from her drive to help every child find permanency. She loves helping families find the resources they need to help a child in their home thrive and helping foster parents and kinship caregivers navigate the world of foster care.
CaRES Mentor: Region 4, & 5
Lisa Konick has been a foster parent for 21 years. During that time she has adopted four foster children. A graduate of the University of Washington, Lisa has been a caregiver co-trainer since 2011, and prior to that she was an educational advocacy trainer for Treehouse. Lisa is passionate about supporting, encouraging, and resourcing foster caregivers and kinship care providers across Washington state.
CaRES Mentor: Region 1
Mary has been a licensed foster parent for 12 years. Her fostering journey has opened up many opportunities for Mary to support and encourage foster parents. She served as an Assistant Recruitment Coordinator and Recruiter Peer Mentor (RPM) with FosteringWA for five years. She and her husband have three adult children and they have provided a home for countless others. Mary works part time at an alternative high school teaching reading.
CaRES Mentor: Region 3
Rae Cook and her family have been a licensed foster and adoptive home for seven years, and were able to adopt their son in winter 2018. Rae began volunteering to speak on foster parent panels and with her local foster community groups. She was also able to be one of the original satellite families that formed a Mockingbird Family model in her area. She has dedicated herself to building a community of support to all foster families.
CaRES Mentor Region: 5 & 6
Nancy was first licensed as a foster parent in 1976 in Indiana. She has fostered around 50 children, six of whom she adopted through foster care. For 20 years, she worked for Washington state as a financial service specialist in the area of Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and food stamps and later for Children’s Administration as a home support specialist. She currently works as a co-trainer with the Alliance, a social service worker for the Office of Public Defense in Kitsap County, a volunteer CASA for Jefferson County and now a CaRES mentor. She also serves on the board of the Foster Parent Alliance of Washington State.
CaRES Mentor Region: 5 & 6
Nathan has been a therapeutic foster parent with Community Youth Services serving BRS Youth for the past 16 years. He has held a variety of roles within the foster care community and has been a strong advocate within the LGBTQ2IA+ community. Through his teaching and public speaking, Nathan hopes to elevate and provide a voice for system involved families.
CaRES Mentor: Region 6
Racheal Turner is from Port Angeles, WA. She is married with two biological children, two adopted children, and guardianship of one. She and her husband have been foster parents since 2007. They specialize in teenage foster children. She has a bachelor’s degree in business management, a master’s degree in teaching, and currently holds a teaching certificate in Washington State. She and her family enjoy racing, camping, hunting, fishing, and the outdoors.
Meet the CaRES Specialists
Specialists can help caregivers by providing emotional support, sharing their experiences, and connecting them to resources. They have an area of dedicated knowledge that may be especially important for a caregiver looking for understanding. Specialists do not offer legal, medical, or mental health advice.
CaRES Specialist: Native Children
Alaina Capoeman-Davis is a citizen of the Quinault Nation, her tribal name is Xoputsée, Alaina attended The Evergreen State College, graduating with a Bachelors of Liberal Arts in 2005 with an emphasis on Indian Child Welfare. She has worked for three tribes as a Child Protection Services Investigator, Family Services Caseworker, Foster Parent Licensor, Permanency Planning, Adult Protection Services, and Individual Indian Monies Case Worker and Department Manager. She has testified in state court and tribal courts. She was a relative placement for several children.
Alaina enjoys reading, hiking, making regalia, dancing, hunting, canoe pulling, spending time with her family and cheering on the Seahawks.
Dr. Emmanuel Camarillo
CaRES Specialist: Spanish Speaking Community
El Dr. Emmanuel Camarillo tiene un doctorado en Liderazgo Educacional de la Universidad de Washington Tacoma. Su investigación se centró en comprender la conexión entre la capacitación que reciben los padres de cuidado de crianza terapéuticos y la interrupción de la colocación de niños en los hogares de los padres de cuidado de crianza. Además, su investigación proporcionó recomendaciones a las agencias de cuidado de crianza que buscan retener a padres de cuidado de crianza calificados y aumentar la calidad y estabilidad de la experiencia de los niños en programas terapéuticos de cuidado de crianza. Antes de trabajar en bienestar infantil, Emmanuel trabajó en la educación superior durante seis años. Emmanuel y su prometido, Francisco, han sido padres de cuidado de crianza durante los últimos tres años. Emmanuel ha sido voluntario en The Foster Closet en Bellingham desde 2018. También se desempeña como miembro de la junta directiva de Foster Hearts, una organización que se esfuerza por mejorar las vidas de los niños en cuidado de crianza, asegurando que cada niño tenga sus necesidades básicas satisfechas y brindando oportunidades para mejorar la vida. Más recientemente, Emmanuel fue seleccionado como representante de la Región 3 de 1624 para servir como enlace entre los proveedores cuidado y el Departamento de Ninos, Adolecentes y la Familia (DCYF).
Dr. Emmanuel Camarillo holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Washington Tacoma. His research focused on understanding the connection between the training that therapeutic foster parents receive and placement disruption. In addition, his research provided recommendations to foster care agencies looking to retain skilled foster parents and increase the quality and stability of children’s experience in therapeutic foster care programs. Prior to working in child welfare, Emmanuel worked in higher education for six years. Emmanuel and his fiance Francisco have been foster parents for the last three years. He has volunteered at The Foster Closet in Bellingham since 2018. He also serves as a board member of Foster Hearts, an organization that strives to improve the lives of children in foster care, ensuring each child has their basic needs met and providing life-enhancing opportunities. Most recently, Emmanuel was selected as a 1624 Region 3 representative to serve as a liaison between caregivers and DCYF.
Francisco Javier Contreras Alvarez
CaRES Specialist: Spanish Speaking Community
Francisco tiene su licencia como padre de crianza. Francisco y su pareja han acogido a más de 13 niños y jóvenes en su hogar y actualmente están acogiendo a un niño de 14 años por aproximadamente 2 años. Francisco obtuvo su Licenciatura en Servicios Humanos y una especialización en español de la Western Washington University. Francisco actualmente ocupa el puesto de administrador de casos, lo que aporta habilidades y conocimientos al trabajar con y para las familias al brindarles apoyo y recursos para ayudarlos a alcanzar sus metas y satisfacer sus necesidades. Francisco también es voluntario del Foster Closet en Bellingham desde 2018 y se desempeña como miembro de la junta directiva de Fosters Hearts, una organización que se esfuerza por mejorar la vida de los niños en hogares de crianza, asegurando que cada niño tenga sus necesidades básicas satisfechas y brindando mejoras para la vida. oportunidades. A Francisco le apasiona apoyar y defender las comunidades marginadas y subrepresentadas donde las familias y los niños de estas comunidades pueden alcanzar su potencial proporcionando recursos para promover el conocimiento y la educación de la comunidad.
Francisco is currently a licensed foster parent. Francisco and his partner have fostered over 13 children and youth in their home and are currently fostering a 14 yr old boy for about 2 years now. Francisco obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services with a minor in Spanish from Western Washington University. Francisco currently holds the position as case manager which brings skills and knowledge working with and for families by supporting and providing sources to help them reach their goals and meet their needs. Francisco is also a volunteer for the Foster Closet in Bellingham since 2018 and serves as a board member of Fosters Hearts, an organization that strives to improve the lives of children in foster care, ensuring each child has their basic needs met and providing life-enhancing opportunities. Francisco is passionate about supporting and advocating for marginalized and underrepresented communities where families and children from these communities can reach their potential by providing resources to further the knowledge and education of the community.
Sarah Rachael Edwards-Strode
CaRES Specialist: Medically Complex Children
Sarah and her husband David have been licensed foster parents for 13 years. Before changing her career goals to nursing, Sarah was a ballet director for 20 years. While originally the Strode’s were focused on caring for drug affected infants, their focus morphed into a focus and advocacy for medically complex foster children. The Strode’s have 7 children , 2 biological, 4 adopted through foster care, and currently one foster child. Sarah has a passion for advocating for the unseen and unheard. She specializes in burn survivor care as well as caring for those with intellectual and chronic illnesses and diagnosis. Sarah is thrilled to be part of Alliance CaRES and working along side other families wanting to care for the medically fragile foster child.
CaRES Specialist: Kinship
Amara CaRES Program Retention & Support Specialist
Brittney Lee experienced 17 foster homes in the span of 17 years of her childhood. Brittney’s current aspiration is to utilize her growth and knowledge gained from resilience, community involvement and employment opportunities with youth who have experienced foster care. She consistently involves herself in community conversations on child welfare and engages in opportunities where she can increase her understanding on how to best leverage her experience and meet her goals. One of those major goals is to become more educated on the subject of racial disproportionality in the child welfare system. Brittney hopes to work from the inside to come up with simple solutions to counteract racial inequality and institutionalized, structural racism that affects all youth in foster care today. Having grown up living with other children in the system from various backgrounds and at all kinds of emotional, mental and spiritual levels, Brittney has unconditional compassion in her heart to give back to the youth in the communities similar to those in which she grew up in as well as on a national and global level. She wishes to be a role model and source of support to youth experiencing foster care; to help them navigate all of the ups and downs; to be the someone that Brittney needed when she was younger.
CaRES Specialist: LGBTQAI+ Children and Families
Amara CaRES Program Manager
Trey is the Associate Director of Kinship and Community Services at Amara. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Hampton University, a master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Illinois, and soon after graduating with his Master’s in Social Work from the University of Washington in 2011 Trey begun his career at Amara. Trey has held several positions at Amara over the past 10 years including doing direct service work supporting youth in foster care and their caregivers, foster parent recruitment and outreach, and currently is leading Amara’s efforts to create programming focused on supporting kinship families in the child welfare system. He also manages Amara’s various LGBTQ+ programs including a partnership with Gays with Kids and current member of DCYF’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Group. Personally, Trey and his husband were foster parents for four years and have a 6-year-old adopted son.