Russell Pohl (Canada)
Russell Pohl along with his husband has been fostering in British Columbia for the past 15 years. “We are a FAB which in my world is short for Fabulous, actually meaning Foster Adoptive and Bio home…” Russell is a parent to eight.
Mr Pohl has and continues to take a variety of workshops around the care of children. His home is a level three home, which blesses him with children with more challenging behaviours. He speaks and has been a keynote speaker on language surrounding children and families at IFCO 2011 World Conference.
Russell also speaks regularly on gay fostering and adoption across Canada and selects spots in the United States.
With a co-facilitator he revisited the support and advocacy program in his Province and now he delivers that program all over the Province. They also have developed a workshop on basics that they have delivered to the social worker teams as well as to foster parents.
Russell Pohl is the lead for his Province in support and advocacy calls and their implementation.
"I believe that I would make a strong director for the following reasons:
I am currently the President of the BC Federation of Foster Parents and have almost six years on this Board with the past five years on the executive. Before that I sat on a regional board starting as a delegate and leaving as the President. I have a team mentality. Nothing gets done alone.
I come from a very strong business background owning my own company(s) for the past 20 years. I believe that my strength is to gather people, give them a voice and uplift. I speak publicly on a variety of topics to include: language we use, gay and lesbian adoption and fostering, sexual abuse and of course rasing eight kids.
I think that my role in whatever I have done in the past and currently is to bring together the people that are needed to initiate change. I am a believer that all boards need to change consistently in order to keep them fresh and alive. Boards are to bring to life the dreams of its members and I love being a part of that.
I have appeared on television and radio in a variety of capacities, from my own segments to being interviewed about fostering. I like to think that I think outside the box in all that I do. I also like to believe that ultimately I am for the kids did we raise and my support for foster families enhances the lives of those children.
I have worked hard for foster parents trying to give them a stronger voice, one voice... We can only be heard when we are loud. I think I would like to continue to work under that thought. I think globally we have so much to do. I know that we can achieve much with many.
I am not about an agenda; I am about having a contribution, a valued opinion for all. I am a strong voice for those that feel they may not have one. I like to believe that I not only want to accomplish something, I want you to accomplish something too. I will stand beside someone building their dream as much as my own.
Lastly, foster parents are my Heroes. I pray for a world without them, but realise that we are nothing without them, what a world we would be if all kids were raised by their loving families. What a world it would be to have children with no pain or worries in life. But alas it isn't so, thus we have Foster Families… taking on what few would do."