Hearts on the Ground Awards presented recently

Courtesy photo Pictured, front row, from left to right are: Sheena Sutter (ADHS), Matthew Tulley (ADHS), Soledad Baumgardner and BJ Baumgardner. Back row, from left to right are: Luke Yoder (CRP), Tom Morin, Chelsea Allaart and Laurie Rivera (ADHS.)

SAN LUIS VALLEY— At the Dec. 12th meeting the San Luis Valley Joint Interagency Oversight Group (SLV Joint IOG) was pleased to honor the important contributions of foster families in the Valley.
The SLV Joint IOG recognized 25 foster families with “Hearts on the Ground” certificates and gift cards, as part of an El Pomar Foundation grant supporting foster family recruitment and retention in the Valley.
Foster parents contribute in so many ways toward providing safe, stable, and loving homes for our most vulnerable children and youth, while recognizing and supporting the goal of family reunification if at all possible.   
Established in 2008, the SLV Joint IOG, funded through Colorado State House Bill 1451, currently includes Alamosa, Rio Grande, and Saguache Counties. Over 20 agencies participate in the SLV Joint IOG; the 12th Judicial District Probation Department and Senate Bill 94 Program, Alamosa County Department of Human Services, Alamosa County Public Health Department, Alamosa School District, Center for Restorative Programs, Colorado Division of Youth Services, Colorado Health Partnerships, Crossroads’ Turning Points, Del Norte School District, Monte Vista School District, Rio Grande County Department of Social Services, Rio Grande County Public Health Department, San Luis Valley Early Childhood Council, San Luis Valley Behavioral Health Group, San Luis Valley BOCES, Signal Behavioral Health Network, Regional Accountable Entity, Saguache County Department of Social Services, Saguache County Public Health Department, Center School District, Moffat Consolidated School District, Mountain Valley School District, Teri Sisneros, Family Representative, and Tu Casa.
The goal of the SLV Joint IOG is to develop collaborative approaches for the provision of individualized, strength-based, family-centered, and culturally sensitive services to children, youth, and families.  The SLV Joint IOG works to increase the quality and appropriateness of services while encouraging cost sharing and reducing service duplication and fragmentation.
For more information about the SLV Joint IOG, please contact Director Carrie Heltzel at carrieheltzel @gmail.com. For information regarding how to become a foster parent or to donate goods for foster children in need (cribs, diapers, clothing, backpacks, etc.), please contact Annette Perea, Alamosa Department of Human Services, at [email protected], or by phone at 587-5293.

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