PORT ST. LUCIE – Communities Connected for Kids unveiled its Kinship Navigator Program earlier this month to help relative caregivers access local resources to help them successfully care for and keep children out of foster care.
And it’s first hired employee knows a thing or 10 about navigating the system.
Rose Bailey has been involved with the local child-welfare system of care for more than 30 years. She and her husband, Brian, are former foster parents and are the adoptive parents of eight children.
She has been the turn-to person whenever someone was needed to speak to the public or to the media about foster care. And she served as foster parent mentor in St. Lucie County for 16 years.
Whittaker comes to CCKids with about 15 years of early childhood development experience. She recently completed her bachelor’s degree in human service with a concentration in youth and families studies.
Poole said she can can’t think of a better team to start the program.
“They will both help our caregivers navigate the dependency system successfully,” Poole said. “And Rose comes with such a wealth of knowledge and lived experience,” she said. “I can’t imagine doing this program without her.”