Foster Kinship Staff
Alison Caliendo, M.A., Founder/Executive Director
Foster Kinship is a nonprofit organization founded in December 2011 by Alison Caliendo. Ms. Caliendo has long been passionate about at-risk populations and family systems issues and opportunities.
In 2009 Alison moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and began working in mental health care for children in foster care. While working with the foster families, she discovered the high rate of kinship caregivers and the need for increased support and information made available to caregivers. Upon further research, she realized that an astonishing number of children in Clark County were being raised by relatives, both formally and informally. She founded Foster Kinship to provide much needed resources and peer-to-peer support for the dedicated individuals working tirelessly to raise their relative’s children, keeping these children both connected to family and safe from harm.
Alison holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Systems Renewal (OSR) from Seattle University, specializing in family systems and systemic trauma and healing, organizational consulting and group facilitation. She holds an HR Masters Certificate from Villinova University. She graduated with honors with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Chicago in 2004.
Nani Garrett, Facilitator/Lead Case Manager
Nani Garrett holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Human Services- with a concentration is management from the University of Phoenix. She will be pursuing her Master’s degree in the Spring of 2016 to be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has done her internship with the Department of Family Services and the Parenting Project. She is passionate about helping children and families in the community to connect with the necessary resources that will better their situation. Nani can be reached at Nani@fosterkinship.org .
Madison Sandoval-Lunn, Facilitator/Case Manager
Madison graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration. Madison has helped numerous families care for abused/neglected children by addressing permanency, safety, and well-being needs. She has been invited to speak to child welfare professionals, state legislators, and Congress members on matters relating to child welfare. Madison is a member of the National Foster Youth Policy Council and co-founder of Foster Care Alumni of America-Nevada chapter. With over 5 years of child welfare experience, Madison offers extensive expertise, skills, and experience in policy analysis, advocacy, and direct case management. Madison can be reached at Madison@FosterKinship.org.
Aminah Muhammad, Co-Facilitator
Aminah is a native of Las Vegas Nevada and will be completing her Bachelors of Science degree in Human Services in November. She is no stranger to the human service field, as she has worked for the State of Nevada Welfare Division and the WIC program. Further experience includes working at the Clark County School District as a long term and substitute teacher. She gained her passion for foster kinship when gaining custody of her 3 nieces. As a Las Vegas native, Aminah is invested in this community and is working hard to ensure change for our families. Aminah can be reached at Aminah@FosterKinship.org
Sandy Vargas, Client Intake Specialist/Administrative Assistant
Sandy has lived in Las Vegas for 19 years and is over half way done with a business degree. In her spare time she likes to read books and work out. She loves spending time with her children and their favorite place to visit is Disneyland. Sandy can be reached at Assistant@FosterKinship.org.
Board of Directors
Members of the Board and Advisory board are volunteers and not compensated for their time and receive no financial benefit (personal or contractual) from their generous service. All board members and employees are required to sign conflict of interest forms.
The Foster Kinship Board of Directors for 2015-2016:
Julie Wilson, M.A., L.M.H.C.A. Board Chair: Licensed mental health counselor in private practice. Masters of arts in psychotherapy from Seattle University. S.U.’s existential-phenomenological therapeutic psychology program combines academic rigor with practical experience. Undergraduate work (B.A.) at Washington State University in communications. Julie works Extensively with at-risk populations and is committed to ensuring vulnerable children receive the best chance at health, stability and happiness.
Alicia Hart, Treasurer: Married with two children, Alicia Hart is a 24 year resident of the Las Vegas valley, and has a combined 13 years of local banking and real estate experience. Currently working on her accounting degree, Ms. Hart enjoys working with numbers and the story that they tell. Ms. Hart has first-hand experience as a kinship caregiver, and stands behind the mission of Foster Kinship, in hopes that adequate resources and information will reach those in need, who have so lovingly and graciously given of themselves to raise their relative’s children to the best of their ability.
Terry Caliendo, Secretary: Terry Caliendo graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He has been an internet entrepreneur for over 10 years, specializing in internet presence management as the owner and president of Dedicated Managers. Caring deeply about Southern Nevada’s issues, especially when it comes to the lack of support and resources for children and their guardians who are providing kinship care, Terry wanted to help give back to the community and subsequently helped his wife form the charity, Foster Kinship which addresses those needs. Terry is also Foster Kinship’s volunteer IT specialist. Terry can be reached at Terry@fosterkinship.org.
Martha O’Donnell, M.A., Director at Large: Marcie O’Donnell holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Wheaton College Conservatory with a piano performance concentration and voice minor, and a Master’s degree from Illinois Northern University in choral conducting. She worked twenty years in worship and music arts, and most recently at Experience Music Project in Seattle as Artistic Director of the non-profit EMP Youth Choir, developing a charter song-writing and performance program for middle- and high-school youth. She is a writer, and in addition to her fiction and non-fiction writing she completed a grant writing course at Antioch University, Seattle in 2011. She spent the first five months of her life in foster care, was raised in a loving adoptive home, and has strong passion and commitment to Foster Kinship’s mission of helping individuals raise their relative’s children, to help keep home in the family. Marcie also writes grants for Foster Kinship. She can be reached at Marcie@fosterkinship.org.
Tina Max: Founder of A Touch of Love and community outreach coordinator at The Las Vegas Center for Spiritual Living.
Stacy Peterson, L.C.S.W.: Social Worker with Angels Foster Care- Foster Care Specialist. Stacy specializes many areas of Child Welfare including: Clinical Social Work, Adoption, Foster Care, Diversity Training, Family Systems, Youth and Special Education. She also has experience working with and for non-profit organizations. Stacy graduated with her MSW from Loyola University. She received her BA from North Park University in 2004.
Stephanie Borene, M.A.: Stephanie is a graduate of UNLV’s Master of Public Administration Program with an emphasis in Non-Profit Management. She has served as the Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling since 2009, responsible for coordinating the agency’s Community Outreach and Workforce Development programs. She has a Bachelor of Science in Human Services Counseling with Minors in Addiction Treatment and Gambling Counseling from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Jan Wagner: Jan is a kinship caregiver and national kinship advocate. She works extensively with organizations and agencies and is a recognized voice of kinship caregivers.