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     Mary Artino, MSW

- Healing Care Hospice Social Worker

Healing Care Hospice staff are participating in a gift drive for the children of Families Uniting Families Foster Family Agency.

Families Uniting Families is an agency that was founded in 2004, in Long Beach, California, and is housed on the campus of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. In the years since Jim Schrage, Carlee Okerman, Eva Roman, Rosalva Gutierrez and I worked with Dr. Susan Love to create this agency, it has grown deliberately and skillfully.  

Families Uniting Families has trained individuals and families who are interested in becoming foster parents for children who have been removed from their parent’s care, for varying lengths of time. Some children are in care for six months, or less, some for years, or until they emancipate. The mentoring and care these children receive allows them to make adjustments to challenges that most adults can’t even imagine. The agency now offers adoption services and Project Fatherhood, an innovative mentoring program of father’s teaching and modeling the appropriate parental care.

Birth families are educated by the social workers to understand how the children received care, what the goals were and they receive explanations about the legal processes.

Navigating loss, love, grief, and adjustments to life changing circumstances are common to the families both Healing Care Hospice and Families Uniting Families serve. The responsibilities of the staff in both agencies are profound and taken very seriously; the work is informed by love and concern to make the journey a family takes meaningful. In choosing Families Uniting Families, Healing Care Hospice extends their reach to extend compassion and care beyond the patients they visit.  

I cannot think of a better match of agencies and missions; I could not be more proud of either of them!