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Allegiance Bank Customer Spotlight: Fostering Family

The Houston region is home to over 3,500 children in foster care, and unfortunately, the system designed to support them is overwhelmed and under-equipped. However, at the same time, there are people and communities who want to help but are often unsure of how to get involved. This reality prompted Amber Knowles to start the Fostering Family organization in 2018 with the mission of strengthening vulnerable children, families, and the communities that surround them. They do this through training and collaboration and won’t stop until every child in Houston has access to a loving and stable home.

Early Beginnings

Fostering Family started with one core program, The Babysitting Collaborative, a multi-agency, streamlined certification process for foster care babysitters. It started with four child-placing agencies and has since grown to include 24 of Houston’s child-placing agencies. Since its inception, this program has trained over 470 babysitters representing over 200 families.

The overwhelming success and demand for The Babysitting Collaborative showed that they shouldn’t stop there. As a result, in 2020, Fostering Family launched The Riverside Project, a collaborative initiative that trains and mobilizes churches and community leaders to serve their vulnerable neighbors. The Riverside Project is equipping communities in the Houston area to address the needs of children and families in the foster care system as well as address the interwoven social issues that lead children to the foster care system in the first place. This project aims to stop this problem at the root and break the cycle altogether.

Looking to the Future

 

In ten years, Fostering Family hopes to see hundreds of churches, non-profits, businesses, and individuals across the greater Houston area fully equipped to help children heal and families thrive. Poverty, lack of education, crisis pregnancy, homelessness, trafficking, and incarceration are often at the center of why children enter and exit foster care without loving, stable connections. They believe this organization has the power to disrupt this cycle, but they can’t do it alone. Because of this, their hope is that these collaborative workshops and resources will equip individuals to fight these issues and be a source of change in the community.

 

The Impacts of COVID-19

It is no secret that COVID-19 presented many challenges, not only for non-profit organizations but for the child welfare system at large. Fostering Family was no exception. However, if there’s one thing they’ve learned from this experience, it’s that “there is always more than one solution to a complex problem, especially when we work together.” The pandemic created its set of hurdles, forcing them to find new ways to operate. While it was no easy challenge, Fostering Family remains committed to serving families and children, and the organization is coming out stronger than ever; “We’ve had to work together, and we’re stronger because of it.”

Fostering Family and Allegiance Bank

Fostering Family came to Allegiance Bank in April of 2020 out of concern for how COVID-19 would impact their organization financially. When the PPP loan applications became available, they knew they wanted to work with a bank that was experienced but small enough to assist their clients on a personal level, “A non-profit colleague introduced me to Steve, and it was clear from our first conversation that Allegiance was a great fit for us.”

As a small non-profit, Amber didn’t always feel that her organization was made a priority, especially when it came to their banking needs. Luckily her experience with Allegiance couldn’t be further from that, “Steve and the Allegiance team have always made us feel like we were their top priority. In a world where it can often seem that excellent customer service is a thing of the past, the Allegiance team stands out as a company that treats each customer like they are their #1 client.”

Allegiance Bank is proud of the work that Fostering Family is doing in our community and are honored to equip them with the financial tools to continue their work. This organization and its team members have demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to achieve their goals, so they deserve a bank that will do the same. We are grateful for the impact they are making on the lives of so many in our community and are excited to see what lies ahead.

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