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Foster Village is the passion project of a family who knows first hand the value 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, inspiring a lot of what we do through Foster Village.

Chrystal Smith has a degree in Child Development and professional experience as a Parent Educator to parents walking through vulnerable circumstances. In walking alongside these marginalized children and families, she has had the opportunity to witness how the families and children with consistent and therapeutic networks of support are also the ones who ultimately have the most success in growth and redemption. 

Chrystal is trained and certified in trauma-informed care of children who have been through adverse childhood experiences, which she applies to all aspects of her role as Executive Director of Foster Village. She has had the opportunity to advocate for children and families in the child welfare system at the state capitol and at various summits for policymakers and stakeholders. Chrystal is also a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician through a partnership with Dell Children's Hospital. 

The Smith's hearts will forever be drawn to the world of foster care and they are currently most passionate about serving other foster families through respite care, fellowship, and resource networking. They hope to ignite a passion in others throughout their community and encourage more folks to roll up their sleeves and come alongside these families and children.

They are all our children and we need to be their village. 

Here's a peek into the home of the Smith family, broken and grown through foster care...

  photo credit: Ridge Press, Austin Ridge Bible Church

photo credit: Ridge Press, Austin Ridge Bible Church

Our Team

Ellen Evans

  {Program Manager}

Ellen and her family began their journey into the world of foster care in 2013 when they became a licensed foster home. They have since developed a passion for supporting and encouraging fellow foster parents, biological families, and the vulnerable children at the center of it all.

Ellen helped launch Foster Village in 2016 and continues to pour her heart, time, and energy into our mission. Ellen has a degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University, teaching certification, and professional experience in the field of Early Childhood Intervention and Special Education.

Ellen is trained in trauma-informed care of children who have adverse childhood experiences and continues to provide respite care to multiples foster families on an ongoing basis while keeping things running smoothly at our Oak Haven resource center. 

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Haley Chambers  

{Program Coordinator}

Haley was born in raised in Austin, Texas. Her family moved out to Dripping Springs when she was twelve and she loves this area dearly.

After graduating with her BA from Cornell University, she received her Master’s of Public Affairs from The University of Texas where she became passionate about equity and justice for all people. Haley grew a heart for child advocacy groups while interning for the Center for Child protection and volunteering with Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, Inc.

She is just beginning the process to become a licensed foster parent and is very excited to learn from the Foster Village community!

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Carrie Overman

  {Project Manager- North}

 

Carrie and her family became a licensed foster home in 2013 and have since fostered 8 children (adopting one along the way) ranging in age from newborn to 17. When not chasing after their three kiddos, Carrie and her husband lead the orphan care ministry within their church and strive to help foster families feel less alone in their mission to care for kids from hard places. Carrie survives the adventures in foster care with a whole lot of help from her church family, her Crossfit community, and a deep love of junk food.

Carrie is a founding officer of Foster Village and oversees operations at our Round Rock Care Closet while working toward her certification in nursing.

 

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Kristen White {Outreach Coordinator and Board Member}

Kristen and her husband Ryan became a licensed foster family in 2014 and were soon thereafter blessed with the placement of their, now adopted, son Cameron.  After adoption and taking a short break, they opened their home to continue fostering.  The White’s have been so touched by Foster Village’s support with every foster child that came through their home, that Kristen decided she wanted to join the movement.  As Outreach Coordinator, Kristen seeks out companies and individuals that may be able to donate the critical necessities that allow Foster Village to provide for the families and children entering the foster care system. 

When she’s not chasing around her 4 kids, she is out caring for her chickens, ducks, goats and running a wedding planning business.

Board of Directors:

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Dr. Mary Jane Hetrick

Dr. Mary Jane Hetrick has been immersed in the nonprofit sector for over two decades, working as a consultant, a volunteer, a board member and branch manager of a national nonprofit organization. She also taught Master of Public Administration courses for 12 years in marketing, grant writing, and nonprofit executive leadership.

Dr. Hetrick is the founder and president of Foundation Logic, LLC that focuses on cultivating organizational performance. Hearing the experiences with the foster care system of people close to Dr. Hetrick caused her to take a keen interest in being part of the solution.

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Jon Mark McMullen

Jon Mark ventured the first DME in Texas in 2002 exclusively serving Texas Foster Children with Primary Medical Needs.  He joined with Arrow Child & Family Ministries in 2013 and currently serves as the Vice President of Arrow Health Solutions.

He is a strong advocate for children & holds extensive knowledge of Texas Medicaid & Medicaid Managed Care Organizations that oversee Foster Children.  He is also the first recipient of the Commissioner's Award of Excellence outside of the Department of Family and Protective Services in Texas history.   

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J Brandon Foster

J is an 8 year resident of Dripping Springs, TX, where he lives with his wife (Erin) and 3 daughters.

He works for Wortham Insurance and Risk Management in downtown Austin as an Associate Director focusing on middle market Property and Casualty Insurance.

J is also an adoptive parent and a member of Austin Ridge Bible Church where he serves as both a Life Group Coach and Leader. He loves spending time with his family, shuffling the kiddos to and from their various activities, working out, singing and playing tennis.  

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Felicia Montgomery

Passionate about helping people grow, learn and be their best selves, Felicia Montgomery founded Adelante Learning Design after 12 years of program and learning design in the health and non-profit sectors. She collaborates with non-profits and global organizations to design solutions that develop their talent and execute their strategy. She also teaches communication courses at Austin Community College.

In addition, Felicia executes business to customer outreach for her husband James' growing business Solutions Pharmacy in Dripping Springs which is how Felicia originally connected with Foster Village. 

Unable to ignore several signs and a calling in their heart, Solutions Pharmacy along with Felicia, James, and their two boys (James and Noah) became champions of Foster Village's mission. 

 

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Rabecca Cross

Rabecca Cross is an attorney who uses her expertise to advise nonprofit and social impact for-profit ventures on general legal matters. She is a graduate of Columbia Law School and serves as an in-house attorney for a family foundation.

Rabecca lives in Austin with her three children whom she adopted through foster care. 

As a parent of children who have been in the foster system, Rabecca is extremely passionate about using her professional and personal experiences to create lasting change in our child welfare system.

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Nick Smith 

Nick Smith is a founding officer of Foster Village and husband to co-founder Chrystal Smith. He has been a trusted professional Financial Advisor for 18 years and is the founder of Smith Wealth Management Group TX, LLC, with planning and consulting offered through LPL Financial.
When he is not running his business or volunteering with Foster Village (he is our resident bunkbed assembler and large request hauler), Nick is typically on the ball fields coaching his four children, leading Bible Studies, reading, or long distance running.
 

 

 

Advisory Board: 

Barrett Criswell

Richelle Criswell

TIra Holcomb

Kylee Craggett, LMsw