202-269-9441 info@dcfapac.org

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Spotlight on Toni Jackson

We asked Toni Jackson, our Board Vice Chair, a few questions to get to know her better.

How did you get involved with FAPAC?

I just wanted to be a Momma and help children enjoy childhood! One of my best friends from college (Howard University) is a social worker and directed me to foster care. I attended the DC government Child & Family Services Agency (CFSA) orientation, then later a training to learn more about foster care. However, I still did not have a grasp on what to expect from children placed in care and answers to real life questions once I become a foster parent. At CFSA’s training, a couple referred me to FAPAC, a non-profit that was more hands-on, informative, and supportive navigating the “in and outs” of foster care. FAPAC offered an eight-week foster parent training course, which I attended and met several foster and adoptive parents along with their children. Here, I learned the process of foster care, what to expect, and heard real life experiences and circumstances surrounding children in care and how parents managed raising these children. FAPAC gave me the knowledge and understanding that better prepared me for a placement. Ironically, twins were placed with me on the last day of class. FAPAC is the reason I’m a proud adoptive mother of those twins! Without the knowledge, guidance, and care FAPAC provided, I would have dropped out thinking I didn’t have what it takes.

What do some of your responsibilities look like as Board Vice Chair?

Fundraising, functional support of the Executive Director in current/new programs, organizing event locations and vendors for board meetings and special events, representing FAPAC through press and local news interviews, informing and maintaining cohesiveness amongst the board, collaborating with the Executive Director, and attending meetings with partners, stakeholders, CFSA Executives, District Council, and Mayoral Leadership.

What other work are you involved in outside of FAPAC?

Being a single mom of nine-year-old twins is a lot of work! Nonetheless, I continue to foster emergency and short term placements. I am a landlord, property manager, and also work with the Four Seasons Hotel.

How has being a foster parent shaped your board experience?

Being a foster parent has shaped my board experience in that I can speak knowledgeably, confidently, and unwaveringly when discussing the needs, supports, services, and engagement required for foster parents, as well as for the children and youth in our homes. I love talking with fellow foster parents and sharing our experiences, as listening to others has bettered my ways of managing my household and helping others. As parenting experiences differ from infants, toddlers, teens, and young adults, I can only be a sharp board member by staying actively involved as a foster parent. As a board member, my role is to ensure FAPAC operates in support of its mission professionally, honorably, respectfully, and that it is constantly funded so it can sustain itself and continue trainings, services, and programs. Ultimately, making sure FAPAC is available, operable, and productive to support children, parents and families! My dual role of foster parent/board member allows balance of an inside parenting perspective and outside business perspective that ensures crucial parenting concerns/needs are met while maintaining a business model that upholds FAPAC as a financially-sound non-profit organization. For over 22 years, FAPAC has served not only foster and adoptive families– as originally intended– but has grown to also offer programs in support of birth parents and caregivers (kin) of children in foster care. Through reunification, guardianship, adoption, and for young adults aging out, FAPAC is working on new programs to support the entire foster care community.