Villages Spotlight: Kathy Stagg
Kathy Stagg started at The Villages 25 years ago as the only employee in the Terre Haute area. Today, Kathy is the office’s clinical director working with a staff of 13, serving Terre Haute and the surrounding counties. Among her responsibilities, Kathy oversees the training and licensing of foster parents, leads support groups, and arranges special events.
Here’s more about Kathy and her experience at The Villages:
“I make myself available to foster parents for additional support and education above what is already provided by their assigned caseworker.”
I received training in a variety of areas, including Theraplay, Trust-Based Relational Intervention, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Adoption Competency, in which I am also a trainer. These areas guide my philosophy of care and are evident in the trainings and groups I conduct with parents, the home studies, as well as in the guidance I give caseworkers. In our post-adoption program, my knowledge of adoption issues sets the stage for providing a supportive environment for our adoptive families so they know their unique strengths and challenges will be recognized and services will be tailored to support the whole family versus an identified client. Our support group for adoptive mothers has grown into a truly remarkable collection of ladies who support one another both in and out of the group time so they know they are never alone during this journey.
“I am passionate about permanency for children and the importance of family.”
We had a young child in foster care who had medical needs, and when referred to us her mother was on the verge of having her parental rights terminated. The mother struggled with substance abuse and already had one child adopted. The foster parents did an amazing job of mentoring the birth mother and our team recognized the important bond between mother and child. Instead of losing her parental rights, the mother and child were reunited, and to this day continue to be an intact family and the foster family continues to have contact with them years later. In another case, I worked with an adoptive family whose daughter was separated from a sibling she had never known. The adoptive family and I worked to locate the sibling (in kinship care). Both families along with our team met to develop a relationship, and eventually, the siblings were introduced to one another. It was a beautiful story with a happy ending – these two sisters now have a forever relationship.
“Fostering is hard, adoption is hard, but life is hard, and our kids come from hard places.”
One of my long-time foster parents always said, “it’s the hardest job you will ever do that you love” and that is so true. We need parents to open their hearts and provide soft places for our kids to begin their healing. The need for parents has never been greater, but unfortunately, the number of people stepping forward does not even begin to fill the need. We are not looking for perfect parents – there is no such thing. We are looking for someone to say yes, yes I will take that first step, yes I will take a chance, yes I will open my home, and yes I will make a difference in the life of a child, as well as their own. Foster care and adoption is a journey, not an event, a journey full of mountains to climb, but mountains can lead to the most beautiful views that people would never experience if they did not step out to walk the journey, knowing The Villages will be by their side supporting them, cheering them on, and sometimes the one holding the rope so they don’t fall.