For many of our foster families, Doris Borja Hurtado needs no introduction. Placement Unit Coordinator in Calgary Region, she takes the lead for foster care referrals and placements. In her role, she really is the first step toward having any child in the Calgary Region enter into a potential foster home. As explained by her nominator, “Doris puts an immense amount of work into learning as much as she can about a child or youths needs to ensure we are building the most appropriate picture of that child’s needs, strengths, likes and important information for caregivers to consider. She works with Foster Care Case Workers and Foster Parents directly, to think of creative options for placement.” If siblings can’t be placed together, Doris always works on how to build connection for them once they are in care, such as finding homes in the same agency to take a sibling group, or finding homes that are already friends with each other, or that may live in the same community.

 

Some of the highlights of her role, as described by Doris is her ability to “build strong relationships with coworkers and agencies; to bring support where it is needed and working in collaboration with all parties involved to ensure we get the best possible outcome for the children we work with.” Her nominator expands on this, “Doris has become such a strong voice and advocate for homes, as she understands the work these caregivers have taken on is complex, important and stressful. Doris has worked really hard to build relationships with Foster Families over the phone, when she calls to seek placement option for kids. She has strived to understand as much about the caregivers as possible to ensure best matching for the child and home are met.”

 

Doris’ passion for foster and kinship care is evident through the work she does through the placement office. She describes it this way, “I know that the kids we work with come into care with very traumatic experiences, so every time that a new kid comes into care, and I get the honour to be involved and support, my thoughts go around to how I can support this kid to have a less traumatic experience today?  Of course, I face limitations in my role, and resources are very limited, but it is beautiful to see siblings going together or make cultural matches when it is possible.”

 

She is guided by the adage that “It takes a village to raise a child”. Doris goes on to say, “When we recognize that all kids need a strong healthy support system to grow and develop, and then we work together to create that environment, we are all making a positive impact in that child’s life. Our work is not possible without all the support we get from foster parents, agencies, case teams and all people who are involved in our day-to-day work. Thanks to all of them.”

 

Thank you, Doris, for all you do! Congratulations!