Jarvis Spearman can tell his story because of the impressive work and the positive changes he and others who grew… Read More
As Director of Methodist Foster Care, Dana Castine provides direction and oversight of foster care services for Louisiana United Methodist Children and Family Services. This includes providing individual consultation to Methodist Foster Care employees and foster parents and arranging for training needs; assuring delivery of foster care services in accordance with contractual and regulatory requirements; and reporting Methodist Foster Care operational needs to the agency’s CEO, COO, CFO, Quality Assurance, and Human Resources staff. Ms. Castine is also responsible for addressing the agency’s legal responsibilities for clients by observing clients periodically and interacting with foster parents. Ms. Castine supervises the performance of all persons involved in service delivery to children, and acts as a liaison between Methodist Foster Care staff and Department of Children and Family Services placement specialists.
Ms. Castine was hired in November of 2015 to assist in creating Methodist Foster Care. Prior to this, she served as the State Director for Louisiana Mentor and had worked for that agency for 10 years. Louisiana Mentor terminated their operations on December 31, 2015.
Ms. Castine has an extensive background in working with youth in various settings ranging from residential care to working in homes with families at risk of having their children removed from the home due to abuse/neglect (Family Preservation). Ms. Castine has supervised behavioral assessment teams designed to work in school systems, as well as supervised staff working within the home for family reunification. Ms. Castine said, “I’ve really worked all sides of the spectrum with kids (before removal, after removal with reunification and foster care). I’ve also seen how families are affected when parents are themselves involved in the criminal justice system, as I’ve worked as an adult probation and parole officer as well.”
When asked what she loves about her work, Ms. Castine said “With foster care, you get to see a lot of great things happening for the child. When a child gets to live in a safe, structured environment where they are shown love, compassion, and taught to value themselves and others, there is no limit to the amount of personal growth that child experiences. Foster Parents are a rare gem and should be celebrated. The amount of work they put into caring for children should never go unnoticed. Methodist Foster Care staff work tirelessly to help facilitate these placements and mediate when there are difficulties. They love what they do and devote time on the clock and off to ensuring these kids continue to prosper in their placements. I get to witness all of these great things on a daily basis.”
With the help of some long time co-workers, new staff, and dedicated foster parents, Ms. Castine and her team have been able to create and maintain a reputation for MFC within the state of being the “go-to” Therapeutic Foster Care agency. Ms. Castine said, “Because of the passion and dedication we have for these kids, we are known to be able to find placements for the more challenging kids and make it work!”
When asked what the most rewarding experience for her has been, Ms. Castine answered, “Every day is rewarding. Being around people that are as passionate as I am about these kids and being able to see that there is good in the world on a daily basis is most rewarding. Also, being able to work for such a reputable organization that shares the same passion and commitment to children and families in Louisiana that I have, helps keep the fire burning!”