As a licensed foster parent, adoptive parent, and survivor of child abuse, Chrystal Smith saw the gaps in the system and the needs that were not being met, both for caregivers and for children intersecting with the child welfare system. It also helped her see how the families and children with consistent and therapeutic networks of support were the ones who ultimately had the most success in growth and redemption, inspiring the idea for Foster Village.
With a degree in Child Development, extensive training in trauma-informed care as a TBRI Practitioner®, and professional experience as a parent educator, Chrystal is uniquely qualified to walk alongside families through vulnerable circumstances. Drawing from her personal and professional experience with childhood adversity, parent education, advocacy and foster care along with her expertise in child development and child safety, Chrystal set out to create an organization that would not just meet the immediate needs of families in the child welfare system but would also address the root causes and vulnerabilities that created the system in the first place.
In addition to leading as the visionary behind Foster Village Inc., Chrystal is most passionate about her role as a wife and mom to her four beautiful children and being a vessel of hope through her story of being saved by Grace. She is often found speaking and writing about foster care and childhood adversity, serving on multiple committees, and advocating throughout the country on issues related to child welfare. Chrystal serves on the Executive Advisory Committee for Texas Permanency Outcomes Project, the Judicial Lead Team for Travis County Child Welfare Re-Imagined Pilot, and is a consultant on several initiatives tackling the systemic issues in our child welfare system.