All Star offers a transformative model of care for first-time foster children.
SARASOTA, FL – Imagine being placed in the back seat of a police car in the in the middle of the night separated from everything familiar, not knowing where you are going and scared that you will never see your little brother again. Where are they taking you? Thankfully, the All Star Children’s Foundation’s state of the art campus is opening soon and will provide children victimized by abuse with a special place—a
place designed to heal, empower, and inspire. Children will receive trauma-informed treatment in a setting where they can thrive, where they can experience unconditional love and where the course of their lives will be forever changed.
“Today, All Star is closer to this reality thanks to six caring people who feel the calling and genuinely believe in our mission. I am so excited to welcome them,” says Graci McGillicuddy, co-founder and board chair of All Star Children’s Foundation.
The new foster parents include Chip and Lindsey Caffelle; Todd and Tricia Reinschmidt; and Marlene Miller and her daughter, Ryan Miller.
“These six extraordinary individuals joined the All Star team to meet those feelings of fear, loneliness and sadness with love and compassion,” says McGillicuddy. “It’s a critical period for these children, and All-Star’s approach of trauma-informed therapy can set them on the right track for life. This marks a vital chapter in All Star’s approach to foster care—and these caring and nurturing foster parents will help make that possible. Their hearts are large and our gratitude to them even larger.”
Chip and Lindsey Caffelle have served as foster parents before. They bring a powerful commitment to foster children in their care and strive to heal the broken family dynamic that put them at risk. “We’ve enjoyed building relationships with the parents and seeing them reunified with their children,” notes Chip. “We love the work we do. For us, this is all about the children—and we know the All Star model will build resilience in them.”
“Not everyone can be a foster family, but if you feel the calling to help these children, you should follow your heart and do it,” says Todd Reinschmidt. “You’re never fully prepared to be a foster parent, no matter how many times you’ve done it. But with All Star, we know we’re not alone. They back us up with a plethora of resources.”
Tricia Reinschmidt agrees. “Being a foster parent is a big step—and having the right kind of support is vital. All Star offers that support system—and Todd and I know we’ve made the right decision. We hope others will join us and say ‘yes’ to this calling.”
For Ryan Miller and her mother, Marlene, writing a check to a charitable organization isn’t enough. They want to give of themselves—personally. Ryan shares that, “We want to give back to our community and being a part of All Star is a great way we can do it.” Marlene adds that, “All Star’s partnerships with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, and other community organizations inspired us. We know we’re part of an excellent team and have excellent resources we can draw on.”
All Star has nearly completed its “Campus of Hope and Healing,” which will provide a nurturing, family-style home environment and comprehensive, trauma-sensitive treatment to abused children, ages 0-18. Siblings will be kept together, and parents and caregivers can draw on a range of innovative services. All Star’s six five-bedroom cottages are licensed for up to five foster children and each is designed with special care given to the selection of soothing colors, lots of light, and cheerful open spaces. The campus also features a clubhouse, playgrounds, a vegetable garden, and live oak trees that provide a tranquil canopy. “It’s a beautiful safe haven, a place for children to heal, play and thrive,” says McGillicuddy.
All Star has also partnered with leaders across the child welfare system to assist in its mission. These include Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, which provides critical clinical advice and serves as the lead research entity. “That’s vital to our work,” notes McGillicuddy. “Incorporating the latest research is at the heart of what we do.” The All Star campus also includes the All Star Children’s Center, which will offer trauma-focused clinical services. Clinical services are now currently being offered to more than 65 children and their caregivers remotely.
All foster parents at All Star must be licensed as foster parents by the State of Florida and participate in ongoing trainings to address and support a trauma-informed approach to parenting. These trainings educate prospective foster parents on meeting the needs of displaced children, while offering useful strategies on strengthening the parent-child relationship.
“We’re so grateful to the foster parents who have joined us,” says McGillicuddy. “Working together in the months ahead, I know we’ll give the children in our care the love and nurturing they need to feel safe, heal and thrive.”
To find out more about being an All Star foster parent, contact Lindsey May at (941) 217-6503. For more information about All Star Children’s Foundation, visit www.allstarchildrensfoundation.org. The campus is located at 3300 17th St, Sarasota.
About All Star Children’s Foundation
All Star Children’s Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to healing the effects of trauma suffered by children who have been abused and transforming foster care through innovation, science, and compassion. All Star’s campus, located at 3300 17th St, in Sarasota, is a nurturing community consisting of a clinical treatment center; six family foster homes and inspirational green space featuring a playground, gardens and a clubhouse. Working with research experts from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, this innovative approach will be researched and evaluated in order to develop models that can be adopted by foster care systems around the state and country. This project has been partially funded under an agreement with the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families. Visit www.allstarchildrensfoundation.org.