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Concept7 Fall News page 1
Alex Vracin comes to the field of social work with a built-in talent learned from growing up in a family of 10 children.Alex says his family taught him the value of nurturing and love, which he feels is paramount to working with Concept's children and families.After he completed his undergraduate degree at St. Martin's College in Olympia, Washington, where he was a Big Brother, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he worked on various social and addictive issues with the wives and children of the military staff.He then obtained a masters degree in sociology, and after a six-month temporary stint as a fifth grade teacher, joined a group home/foster care agency in Orange County where he worked for eleven years.Alex started with Concept 7 in 1991 as a social worker, then regional director, and finally his current position as Certification Social Worker for the Pasadena and Ontario offices.This assignment includes orientations with potential foster parents, pre-certification training and home inspections, home studies, annual re-certification of each foster home and placement of foster children in these areas.What is different about the dynamic within the setting of group homes versus individual foster families?In group homes, Alex says, the children may be more disturbed and have more psychological and therapeutic needs than a foster home can provide.The foster home setting is very nurturing, and Alex finds great satisfaction in the progress he sees on his various visits, when the smiles and sense of security are evident on the faces of the foster children.What about the foster parents?What is their motivation?Alex says their reason for getting involved ranges from having been foster children themselves, to having never had children, to a desire to keep their homes filled with the sounds of happy children after having raised their own families.He is constantly surprised by the intensity of their commitment and the level of their support of the foster children.
is married, has two daughters and four grandchildren.His
wife, Cindy, is also a great believer in helping children.Through her work at Foothill Independent Bank she is responsible for obtaining scholarship grants the past two years for Concept 7's emancipating foster children.Alex
tells the story of a 3 1/2 year old boy who was recently placed in foster care."As I was leaving, out of the blue," says Alex
came up to me and thanked me for bringing him to his
new home.Imagine that,
from such a small child," Alex marvels."That's what makes it all worthwhile.