Kim Gisburne is a Family Development Specialist with Good Shepherd. She describes that as a “fancy” title that really means that she works with families who are interested in becoming foster parents and helps them to navigate the licensing process. Kim has been in this role for the last three years. Prior to her current position, Kim performed other roles at the agency including five years as a foster care case manager and two years supervising the agency mentoring program.
Prior to her time at Good Shepherd, Kim was a stay at home parent, then a student. She completed a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Social Work. She feels her education helped open her eyes to concepts she had not considered before such as human development and behavior and how a person’s circumstances influence both of those.
Kim spends most of her time providing support and acting as a sounding board for her families. She helps advocate for them, troubleshoots, and provides guidance when difficult situations arise with the children that are placed in their homes. Kim is proud of her work when she is able to help a foster parent who feels discouraged and wants to give up. She feels it is important to help a family to refocus and see the good that they have provided for the children they are caring for and to help them remember why they became foster parents.
Kim enjoys her work but wishes others understood that social work, particularly in foster care, is not all “Tragedy”. She states that “There are many days to be celebrated and her work is ever-changing.” If she could give herself a little advice when she first started her career, she said she would tell herself to “Stick with it” because she has been surprised by how much she likes social work and working in foster care. Finding the right agency, with supportive supervisors and co-workers has made all the difference to helping her remain dedicated to her work.
Kim is passionate about her role at Good Shepherd and wants to encourage any family considering becoming a foster parent to get the information they need to understand foster care and the licensing process and then take that next step!