College of the
Foster & Kinship Care Education Program

                         For more information on education and training, call:

Foster Kinship Care Education Staff

Kelly Mendonca (Director of FKCE Program)

Amber Hamilton (Administrative Office Assistant)
Humboldt County 
707-476-4455 office


Office Hours


9am - 4pm


              For information on becoming a Foster/ Adoptive provider, call:

Myrna Corder
Humboldt County Recruiter  

Daphane Williams
Del Norte County 
707-464-3191 ext. 2704





Beatrice Avcollie has two children and three grandchildren.  She has over 27 years of experience working in the field of child welfare, having worked in Los Angeles, Orange and Humboldt Counties.  Most of that work has focused on working with children in foster care and their families.  She developed and presented  training on Permancy Options for caregivers interested in providing permanency for children who were unable to return to their family of origin.  She is a trained Team Decision Making facilitator, and has conducted numerous family meetings to encourage family members to participate in making important decisions for their children.  She has been a PRIDE trainer at College of the Redwoods for the past four years.

Alicia Bieniek

Angela Bott is currently a foster care parent in the adoption process for two children.  She has already raised her great-niece and four biological children. She is currently raising three grandchildren and one biological child along with two foster care children.  Angela has a full-time job working for the Department of Child Support Services where she is responsible for training on many different subjects.  She is also a Girl Scout Leader and has been for 16 years.  She is co- teaching the LBGTQQIA class.

Renee Burnette

Tracy East is a newly licensed foster parent with the hope of adoption. She worked as a Dental Assistant for 12 years with children, helped at day cares and has fully enjoyed being involved with her six neices and nephews lives. Tracy does the Fun Facts about your Mouth, the newsletter and the Infertility Support Group.

James Flower is a local attorney with 30 years of experience. Much of it in various types of family law. Each quarter at FKCE he hosts an informational workshop for folks who have the care of, or are considering taking over the care of, children in their extended families whose parents may not be up for the task. The workshop covers guardianships, dependency, dealing with Child Welfare Services and other government agencies. He offers moral support for those who step up to care for children who have no one else.

Yaraid Hamilton is a loving husband and father of three. Two sons and one daughter . Tony is a CPR instructor for the FKCE Program and is a mentor of the Father's Group.

Janelle Harris has been a foster parent for 3.5 years. She has had nearly 20 children come through her home in that time. They have adopted their 2nd foster child and through that experience have learned firsthand about helping kids from hard places. She is involved in the local foster parent community and enjoys planning activities and trainings for foster families. Janelle is also very involved in recruiting others to become foster parents.

Mickey Harris

Zach Hufft is a college student with a goal of getting a degree in Psychology. Zach is a major asset to the FKCE Program  as a facilitator for the LBGTQQIA training. Zach also participates in the youth program as a mentor for kids.

Kelly Mendonca is an adoptive parent of two grandsons and a former foster parent, herself a foster child. She is the program director for the Foster, Adoption and Kinship Caregivers’ Education Program.

Michelle Moore and husband Tom started fostering in 2002. They have 3 biological kids and 1 adopted. Michelle enjoys teaching "This is your Life" and is also the foster parent mentor for Del Norte County. They have had almost 50 children in and out of their home in the last 10 years. Their motto is "Once our kids, Always our kids". Their goal is always to keep families together. They maintain a positive and healthy relationship with the biological parents and enjoy helping them succeed to be productive parents.

Virginia Mullan has two children and teaches 6th, 7th and 8th grades at Bridgeville Elementary School, as well as leading 4-H. She facilitates the "This is your Life" classes in Bridgeville, which often includes other crafts and is a vital support group for those who attend.


Jim Nielsen is a veteran Foster/Adoptive Parent. He and his lovely wife Tiffany have adopted 3 children. Jim has a background in Early Childhood Development, he was a preschool teacher for 8 years and he is now on a Preschool Board. Jim also enjo0ys being a mentor to other dad's and helping them with parenting issues.

Tom Rector is a staunch advocate for all children and parents. He trains at a local and national level based on biosocial cognition on curriculum dealing with learning and behavior. Tom currently holds the Executive Director position at CASA of Del Norte. Tom is an adoptive parent and has been a foster parent. He is currently a trainer and mentor for the College of the Redwoods’ Foster and Kinship Care education program. He has been married for 40 years, has 5 children, 6 grandchildren and is a longtime resident of Humboldt County.

Janet Robinson is a parent educator specializing in "spirited children" on Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's work. She is a mom of three grown sons, two that were spirited, and one was a boundary pusher. Janet is a Pride trainer and leads the Kinship training in Humboldt, Del Norte and Garberville.

Cherie VonSavoye

Janet Wood has over 12 years experience working in the field of Child Welfare in Humboldt County through the youth Educational Services hand-in-hand program, CASA, respite worker. Her experience with child welfare services has been emergency response, family maintenance, family reunification and in the Placement Unit. She is currently a Pride co-trainer at the FKCE Program.

Laura Ziemer was placed in foster care at birth and adopted out of foster care as a young child. She grew up in an amazing, active foster family home. Growing up around medically fragile babies gave her a passion for child welfare. Laura started publicly speaking on a volunteer basis when she was nineteen for State Adoptions and the FKCE Program. Speaking for Pride training's led to employment opportunities as a Pride trainer. She also facilitates the bi-weekly Youth Group on the College of the Redwoods main campus.


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