Foster Village was founded by foster parents who understand the first-hand needs of foster families and the importance of having a village of support while in the trenches of foster care.
The Smiths became a licensed foster home in early 2014 and later had the privilege of adopting their precious daughter who came to their home at 8 months old. As fate would have it, they also welcomed their daughter's birth mother into the family - a strong young woman who aged out of foster care herself.
This journey, both beautiful and challenging, helped Chrystal Smith see the gaps in the system and the needs that were not being met, both for foster families and for children experiencing or aging out of foster care. 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, training in trauma-informed care as a certified 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.