The Pascua Yaqui Tribe Foster Care Program has been selected as the 2019 First Things First Pascua Yaqui Tribe Region Champion for Young Children.
The award is given to local champions who actively volunteer their time to raise public awareness of the importance of early childhood development and health. Champions spend a significant amount of time volunteering with FTF and building public awareness about the importance of early childhood issues.
The Pascua Yaqui Tribe Foster Care Program has hosted a Child Abuse Prevention Fair within the Pascua Yaqui community in order to raise awareness about the risks and dangers that many children face. The fair includes a parade around the reservation that ends with a releasing of balloons in remembrance of all the children that have been lost. The fair also includes inviting programs that specialize in children’s services, such as FTF, and share with the participants what resources are available. Program officials said it was important to make the community aware of early childhood services available, because within their line of work they have witnessed numerous cases of child abuse and neglect, and their hope is that one day all children will have a home where they can feel loved and safe.
Foster care program representatives attend a majority of all community events to recruit and encourage families to become foster parents. During these outreach opportunities, they share helpful information and resources, such as the Birth to Five Helpline cards, in order for parents/caregivers to use the helpline at home and hopefully share with others. The goal of their outreach is to ensure that children are not only placed in good homes but that they are with families who are members of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe so that they can continue to teach the importance of their culture.
We recently caught up with the Rosanna Dominguez, who has worked for the Foster Care Program for six years.
Question: Why do you feel early childhood development and health is important?
Answer: Early childhood and health set the path for a child to grow, explore, and develop skills to be a happy confident child.
Question: How do you suggest other people in your community get involved?
Answer: People in the community can get involved by enrolling their children into early childhood programs, receive training and be an advocate for young children.