Director of Programs
Jen has worked with children and youth in every setting imaginable, and has always had a knack for connecting with the most mischievous. After earning a master's degree in education, Jen moved to Austin and often found her classrooms full of children who were known as the "troublemakers" by many who didn't always understand them. She wouldn't have wanted it any other way and excelled at helping them become successful at school.
In 2007, Jen left teaching to start a career in foster care and adoption because she wanted to do what she could to help waiting children be adopted. She (over)worked as a case manager and a regional adoptions facilitator, and (over)served as the director of a child-placing agency. In 2017, she founded a one-of-its-kind nonprofit, Stand Up Eight, to walk alongside adoptive families and help them heal from the effects of trauma. Stand Up Eight and Foster Village merged in 2021.
Jen has spent countless hours over the years walking alongside families through each unique facet of the fostering and adoption process. She has also presented at conferences and other groups, led trainings, and worked closely with therapists and other treatment team members, all to help families provide ideal care to traumatized children. Jen has been trained in multiple disciplines of behavior management, and is a certified Trust-Based Relational Intervention Practitioner.
Jen is a Licensed Child-Placing Agency Administrator, and served for years on The Heart Gallery of Central Texas Committee and the Adoption Knowledge Affiliates Board of Directors.
Jen got hitched to BJ Brown in April 2010, and they live in Round Rock, Texas, with their mutt, Barkley (yes, he's named after Charles). Jen has been crafty since before Pinterest was born, is addicted to strong coffee, is a die-hard football fan, and hopes to someday be a beach bum.