ASU Trio Bringing Families Together
November 16, 2015
November is National Adoption Month, and every year communities around the country pick a specific date for their individual National Adoption Day event. On Nov. 6, 340th District Judge Jay Weatherby presided over more than 30 local adoptions at First United Methodist Church of San Angelo, several of them facilitated by the ASU trio at Children’s Hope. Ehlers is the San Angelo area director.
“We are a child placing agency,” Ehlers said. “We are contracted by the state to do foster care, to license foster homes and to license families to adopt—and we write the court report documents to recommend adoptions.”
An Air Force brat born in Colorado Springs, Ehlers earned her ASU bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2014 and is currently working on her ASU master’s degree in counseling psychology. She got involved with Children’s Hope while still an undergraduate student.
“I did my undergraduate internship with our vice president for foster care,” Ehlers said. “At that point, she had just moved to San Angelo and Children’s Hope was looking to open a local office. Luckily, I got in on the ground floor as, at that time, we only had two children in care in Texas. Today we have over 135 children in care.”
“After I graduated,” she added, “they offered me the director position and I couldn’t resist. I love this. Now I have one case manager and we have an intern, and all of us are from Angelo State.”
“I just have a heart for children, specifically the children that have come close to not having anyone else to believe in them or pick them up in life.”
Dube is also an Air Force brat. She was born in New York, but has lived in San Angelo for about 15 years. She earned her ASU bachelor’s degree in social work earlier this year and is now a foster care specialist at Children’s Hope.
“My focus is the families and the children,” Dube said. “I’m their case manager on the child placing agency side of things. I go into the homes once a month to see how the kids are doing, how they are adjusting in the homes and how the families are adjusting with the children. I’ll provide any support that they need for both the families and the children.”
Helping Ehlers and Dube is Pruitt, an ASU senior social work major who graduated from Irion County High School and is completing an internship at Children’s Hope.
“I just have a heart for children,” Pruitt said, “specifically the children that have come close to not having anyone else to believe in them or pick them up in life. Children’s Hope is a really good match for me because we work with these kids and find them amazing families. Some agencies are all about the numbers of placements, but Children’s Hope really looks for quality and character in their families. That is something I really admire.”
Together, Ehlers, Dube and Pruitt are utilizing the knowledge and skills learned at ASU to make a difference in the lives of children and families throughout the San Angelo region.