Spotlight on Youth Villages in Upper Cumberland, Part 2

Last Updated by Kate Spears on

Join WCTE’s Great Ready to Learn host Cindy Putman and her special guest from Youth Villages as they share about foster care, adoption, Life Set, intensive in-home services and crisis services.

May is Foster Care Awareness Month and Putman is joined by Youth Villages Tiffany Maynard, Foster Parent Recruiter and Kelly Hodges, YV Life Set Clinical Supervisor at Youth Villages.

National Foster Care Month is a month set aside to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections.

The Youth Villages Cookeville office is seeking foster parents for children in there care. Youth Villages provides free foster parent training, monthly reimbursements to help offset the costs of adding a child to your household and ongoing, 24-hour support.

Youth Villages offers free orientation and training sessions at the Youth Villages offices in Cookeville. For more information phone: 931-525-6900.

In 1972, the Children's Bureau sponsored—and President Nixon proclaimed—National Action for Foster Children Week to raise awareness of the needs of children in foster care and recruit more foster parents. The following year, Children published "The Bill of Rights for Foster Children."

In 1988, President Reagan issued the first presidential proclamation that established May as National Foster Care Month.

During National Foster Care Month, Youth Villages renew their commitment to ensuring a bright future for the children and youth in foster care, and they celebrate all those who make a meaningful difference in their lives. Maynard and Hodges both stress the great need for new foster parents in the Upper Cumberland. Many children in the foster care program will be adopted and talking to a child about adoption can be hard for some parents. PBS Parents has great resources and articles to help.

“My Friend is Adopted”: How to Talk About Adoption with Your Child, by Nefertiti Austin, addresses the issues of explaining adoption to a child. Austin suggested using PBS KIDS resources.

Another way to introduce your child to adoption is through programs like Dinosaur Train or Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood where themes about adoption and/or foster care are addressed as a natural occurrence versus an exceptional event.

Adoption no longer carries the taboo it once did and parents should treat the topic as a normal life experience, much like losing a tooth. Though adopting or fostering a child represents a huge life change for a family, the day-to-day activities resemble those of a traditional household. And children who are not adopted need to know that their friend’s family probably functions a lot like theirs.

There are a variety of picture books, that are age appropriate, to help children understand adoption. PBS Parents provides a list of picture books addressing adoption here. 

Hodges and Maynard are available to answer any questions about Youth Villages and the services they provide. If you are interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent give them a call. 

Youth Villages helps children and families live successfully.

Youth Villages in Putnam County is located at:

448 Neal St. Cookeville, TN 38501; Phone: 931-525-6900 | Fax: 931-525-6970

Want resources for talking to your kids about adoption? Check out this great article on PBS Parents about adoption.

For more information about WCTE’s radio program or Education and Community Impact at WCTE call Kristy Keeling at 931-528-2222 # 303.



Tune in each Saturday morning at 9:30 for the WCTE Get Ready To Learn Radio Show, with host Cindy Putman on Zimmer Broadcasting's The HUB 107.7 FM and 1400 AM.

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WCTE’s Educational Team can customize workshops or professional development trainings for your group or organization. For workshop information, or to inquire about scheduling a workshop, call 921-528-2222 x. 227 or email us.

Topics are listed below:

  • Using Media as a learning tool
  • Using PBS kids apps to extend learning
  • How to be your child’s first teacher
  • Sesame Street Workshops
  • How does poverty effect a child’s brain
  • Literacy and Math
  • Brain Development

Workshops can be conducted in English and Spanish.