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Episode 235: Supporting & Serving TFI Advocates (w/ Jody Vanderburg & Liz Archambault)

By May 27, 2024May 28th, 2024The Forgotten Podcast

Today’s conversation made me a little emotional because I never could have imagined what God would do with this ministry when I launched it over a decade ago. I could have never imagined that we would have leaders across the nation who are stepping in and supporting their local foster care community! These Advocates act as a bridge, bringing encouragement and support to agencies by helping churches understand the best way to engage and meet needs contextually.

Today, I get the honor of introducing you to a couple of incredible people who are also team members here at The Forgotten Initiative: Jody Vanderburg and Liz Archambault. They serve in the role of Advocate Coaches, helping Advocates navigate the challenges specific to their area and bring their unique experience and personality to the role.

We are so grateful to have both of them on our team!

In this episode, you’ll hear how foster care intersected with each of their lives, what traits make an effective Advocate, the most meaningful parts about supporting local leaders as an Advocate Coach, and so much more!

Applications to become a TFI Advocate are opening in June but we are opening it early just for our podcast listeners! Apply now!

TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S CONVERSATION:

1. A great Advocate listens.

A great Advocate listens. Our Advocates practice not only fulfilling needs, but listening to what agency workers and advocates are saying they need. We often encounter problems and start offering all the solutions we think are needed. But what is often needed is someone to listen closely and offer up solutions and connections for what is truly being asked for. This applies to all roles in the foster care community!

In training, we ask our Advocates to learn what the three greatest needs of their local agencies are.

2. Identify potential burnout areas.

We can do almost anything for a season, but if we continue to do a non-fulfilling task over and over, it can lead to burnout. This is one of the reasons why we love the tool of the Working Genius. It helps us to identify those areas that don’t bring us life so we can recruit people around us who is passionate about tasks that we aren’t.

“It isn’t that you do this poorly; this is just something that might burn you out.”

3. We can’t do this alone.

Working in the foster care community means that you will almost certainly be called to difficult places. It’s SO important to have a supportive community around you to lean on and share your burdens.

“Living in obedience to the Lord can often take you to difficult places, whether that be difficulty in ministry or difficulty in your personal life.”

SPREAD THE WORD!

We hope this episode has helped you wherever you are on your foster care journey. That’s the goal! If so, will you tell others?

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Meet Our Guests

Jody Vanderburg is an Advocate Coach at TFI. While getting to volunteer at a camp for little girls in foster care, Jody’s heart was awakened to opportunities to love this unique community. She became passionate about bringing the hope of Jesus to children, vulnerable adults, and agencies. She has developed foster care ministries within her local church and is so excited to help others do the same. She enjoys exploring the outdoors with her dog, Max, and traveling the country to visit her precious nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Liz Archambault is an Advocate Coach at TFI. Liz’s foster care journey began before she was born to a mom who worked as a social worker for fostering families at a child welfare agency. When she was 11, Liz decided she wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Today, Liz lives just south of Boston with her best friend and husband, Josh, their daughter by birth, their son whom they adopted from foster care, and girl/boy twins whom they are currently fostering. Liz joined the TFI family as an Advocate in 2017, and it is a joy for her to serve God by combining her love of the foster care community with her background in social work as a coach for TFI Advocates.

Foster Parents, check with your agency to see if listening to this podcast will count toward your foster care training hours!

 

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