By Abdul Seraaj
Edited by Intisar Seraaj
Editor’s Note: The CEO of Seraaj Family Homes, Inc. (SFH), Abdul Seraaj, is currently making personal visits to some of the agency’s foster parents, as he likes to model the kind of continuous quality improvement practices our employees should practice. Although he’s the CEO, Seraaj and his cofounding partner began the company while functioning in most of the roles themselves, including case manager, foster parent, and therapist. So, Seraaj often reverts back to his foundational roles and education—with a master’s degree in family and marital counseling—and makes home visit to clients himself. This keeps his skills sharp, allows him to personally connect with our foster parents, and exhibits the quality of home visits employees are expected to conduct. The series “Spring 2021 Foster Parent Visits” on our blog give us a look at his field notes for his visitations. First up is Mattie Harris from Union Spring, Alabama.
[Our foster parent Mattie] Harris’s face lit up as she shared how she can depend on [our] case manager Alice Freeman, Intake & Placement Coordinator Felicia Strowder, and the Montgomery, Alabama region’s senior manager Ms. Carolyn. Montgomery’s regional staff members have made Harris feel like their [own] family member and like an equal member of her foster youth’s treatment team. Harris truly loves the core group of staff members at SFH in the Montgomery region. She had nothing but high praises and encouraging words as she described the quality of supportive services she gets from her Montgomery regional case managers.
Harris shared several examples of former SFH professional family teachers (PFTs), [or foster parents], who left [our agency] to foster for other provider agencies because they were offered a higher daily rate of pay. She stated that most of the PFTs she knew that switched over to other provider agencies have become very dissatisfied because they do not get any type of supportive services, especially after 5 p.m. and on weekends. [However, SFH provides 24/7 support.]
Harris is currently fostering a 19-year-old boy with therapeutic and special needs, and she plans to adopt him shortly. Harris and [her son] live in a beautiful, humble country home located on a Bullock County, Alabama road next door to her home church and in close proximity to some of her relatives.
One can easily see that Harris’ foster son’s quality of life has significantly improved since being placed with Harris. Harris always keeps him very clean and well-groomed. What’s so amazing about Harris is that she never complains about his daily care. Her foster son uses a wheelchair and requires total and daily care and supervision.