Courtney Zeilmann is a foster care coordinator with Medina County Job and Family Services. She’s one of our go-to support people for families.
When a family begins the licensing process, they are assigned a foster care coordinator who acts as their primary contact to guide them through the process of getting assigned a child and supporting that child.
Let’s get to know Courtney and how she helps families.
“When a foster parent becomes licensed, I become their “person,” Courtney says. “I'm their go-to throughout the entirety of their license. I help them through recertification, offer overall support, guide them to different trainings, and help them through the placement process.”
Foster care coordinators get to know their families well from the start and that helps them navigate placement.
“We are able to take a lot into consideration because we know families,” Courtney reports. “We know if they have other children or pets in the home. Since we know our families so well, we don't put them in any uncomfortable situations.”
Courtney has a ton of resources at her fingertips, and she knows just what a family needs when a problem arises.
“A couple days ago, I saw a family and the child was having severe behavioral needs. So I talked with them and offered tips and suggestions to work through the situation,” Courtney shares. “Sometimes parents just need to talk to someone.”
Not every county agency offers a foster care coordinator to support families. Medina County Job and Family Services is committed to helping families achieve success.
“Our team talks a lot about the training we think our families would like and often families will come to us asking for something specific,” Courtney says. “Then, we go searching for something or we create it ourselves. We recently offered a lengthy training called Trust-Based Relational Intervention, teaching families how to redirect and help with certain behaviors. Our families loved it!”
Courtney offers another example of a specific need one family had.
“One of my families took in two autistic children,” she reports. “They quickly realized they knew nothing about autism. So, I went searching and gathered resources from an internet search as well as books to help them.”
Courtney and the other foster care coordinators often witness amazing stories of love and care because of their unique position and proximity to the families.
“I was working with one family who desired to support elementary age children, not teenagers,” Courtney says. “But I had an emergency situation to place a 14 year old and 15 year old siblings. And I had no open homes available. So I called them and asked if they would take both children. Otherwise, we would have to split them up. This family took them, and now they've been there for a year. They took a chance because they trust me and trust that our agency would help them in whatever way possible and support them.”