Knotts Family Parenting Agency

08.12.2014 Knotts Family Parenting Agency Comments Off on Jazz And Wine Festival To Benefit Local Foster Children

Jazz And Wine Festival To Benefit Local Foster Children

Great Sax

(Redlands, CA) Fans of Jazz will enjoy a performance this weekend at Edwards Mansion in Redlands brought by concert promoter One Touch Management.

 

Knotts’ Family Agency’s annual Summer Soiree Jazz and Wine Tasting “Under the Stars.” Tickets for this 7 p.m. event are $45 per person.

 

Mark L. Akridge, son of legendary bass guitarist Mark L. “Bassdagg” Adams from Slave will highlight the Jazz event, he leads this seven-piece band, primarily influenced also by the likes of Michael Jackson, Prince, Sting and Phil Collins, as well as funk bands Zapp & Roger, Lakeside, Heatwave and New Horizon.

 

Gwen and James Knotts

Gwen and James Knotts

“This will be a do not miss event,” said Gwen Knotts, owner of Knotts Family Agency. “Slave was a great band and huge part of the Black culture. You will be able to enjoy a summer evening listening to a new band that sounds a lot like Slave, while tasting some excellent wines from around the world.

 

Knotts kids

 

“At the same time, you will help us at Knotts Family Agency to provide cultural enrichment opportunities for foster children,” Knotts said. “You are going to experience fun and culture by coming to our summer soiree. Shouldn’t all of our children also be able to experience fun and culture through opportunities appropriate for their age?”

 

Great food

Listeners can also enjoy a variety of wines at the Summer Soiree. These come from Wine Guyz, who will feature a variety of international wineries. Wine Guyz has worked with Knotts Family Agency for several years to put on the wine tasting portion of the event.

 

This year’s wine selection includes wines from Australia, Spain, Italy, Germany and France. One of the wineries featured is Yalumba, which is Australia’s oldest winery, owned by one family since 1849.


Jorge Odonez Group wines will also be featured. Jorge Odonez is the owner of a chain of boutique wineries in Spain that focus on crafting wines from “very old” vines. These older vines, while less productive, produce wines regarded by winemakers and sommeliers as of higher quality in all respects. Jorge Odonez Group is a major importer of Spanish wines to the United States.

 

Knotts Family Agency works with the Department of Children & Family Services in both San Bernardino and Riverside counties to identify homes and families for foster children of all ages.

great people

Edwards Mansion’s beautiful Victorian Tea Garden is the site for The Summer Soiree. The Garden has a picturesque fountain, hand-painted tiles in romantic motif, shade trees, colorful flowers and vine-covered arbors combine to create an elegant setting.

 

For more information or to purchase tickets, please call: Sandy Oquin at (909) 880-0600 or go online to http://www.KnottsFamilyAgency.org/

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07.24.2013 Knotts Family Parenting Agency Comments Off on Catch Larry Williams at Annual Summer Soiree

Catch Larry Williams at Annual Summer Soiree

(Redlands, CA)  Catch Larry Williams as the Knotts Family Agency hosts their annual Summer Soiree Jazz and Wine Tasting “Under the Stars” at Edwards Mansion in Redlands on Saturday, August 17, at 7:00 p.m.; Tickets are $40 per person.

Knotts Family Agency works with the Department of Children & Family Services both in San Bernardino and Riverside to identify Homes & Families for Foster children of all ages.

 

Proceeds will help local foster children experience ‘Cultural Enrichment’ in activities such as sports, book clubs, music lessons, music festivals, trips to museums and art galleries.  “The enhanced cultural exposure will have a significant positive impact on our children’s lives,” said Gwen Knotts, CEO of Knotts Family Agency.

 

 

Edwards Mansion’s beautiful Victorian Tea Garden is the site for The Summer Soiree.  The Garden has a picturesque fountain, hand-painted tiles in romantic motif, shade trees, colorful flowers and vine-covered arbors combine to create an elegant setting.

 

“Join us for a great night of Jazz from “One Touch Management” and Wine Tasting from Wine Guyz at the Edwards Mansion.

 

For more information please call:  Sandy Oquin at (909) 880-0600 or go online tohttp://www.KnottsFamilyAgency.org

 

Please Make Checks payable to:  Knotts Family Agency, 1505 W. Highland Ave., San Bernardino, CA  92411

 

07.08.2013 Knotts Family Parenting Agency Comments Off on Jazz and Wine Festival to Benefit Local Foster Children

Jazz and Wine Festival to Benefit Local Foster Children

“Join us for a great night of Jazz from “One Touch Management” and Wine Tasting from Wine Guyz at the Edwards Mansion,” said Knotts.  At Edwards Mansion in Redlands on Saturday, August 17, at 7:00 p.m. For more information please call:  Sandy Oquin at (909) 880-0600 or go online to http://www.KnottsFamilyAgency.org

“Join us for a great night of Jazz from “One Touch Management” and Wine Tasting from Wine Guyz at the Edwards Mansion,” said Knotts.  At Edwards Mansion in Redlands on Saturday, August 17, at 7:00 p.m.
For more information please call: Sandy Oquin at (909) 880-0600 or go online to http://www.KnottsFamilyAgency.org

Jazz Flyers Children Ready for Email

Knotts-PR-112.1 Jazz

For More information call

Carl M. Dameron@(909) 534-9500

For Immediate Release

 

Jazz and Wine Festival to Benefit Local Foster Children

 

(Redlands, CA)  Knotts Family Agency hosts their annual Summer Soiree Jazz and Wine Tasting “Under the Stars” at Edwards Mansion in Redlands on Saturday, August 17, at 7:00 p.m.; Tickets are $40 per person.

 

Knotts Family Agency works with the Department of Children & Family Services both in San Bernardino and Riverside to identify Homes & Families for Foster children of all ages.

 

Proceeds will help local foster children experience ‘Cultural Enrichment’ in activities such as sports, book clubs, music lessons, music festivals, trips to museums and art galleries.  “The enhanced cultural exposure will have a significant positive impact on our children’s lives,” said Gwen Knotts, CEO of Knotts Family Agency.

 

Edwards Mansion’s beautiful Victorian Tea Garden is the site for The Summer Soiree.  The Garden has a picturesque fountain, hand-painted tiles in romantic motif, shade trees, colorful flowers and vine-covered arbors combine to create an elegant setting.

 

“Join us for a great night of Jazz from “One Touch Management” and Wine Tasting from Wine Guyz at the Edwards Mansion.

 

For more information please call:  Sandy Oquin at (909) 880-0600 or go online to http://www.KnottsFamilyAgency.org

 

Please Make Checks payable to:  Knotts Family Agency, 1505 W. Highland Ave., San Bernardino, CA  92411

 

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10.31.2008 Knotts Family Parenting Agency Comments Off on All Children Need A Parent’s Love – Even Teenagers

All Children Need A Parent’s Love – Even Teenagers

Rialto City Council Member Deborah Robertson and her mother Julia Calhoun, far right, with (from left) Deborah’s sister Bonnie Cotton, Bonnie’s grandson Lonell Williams and Bonnie’s daughter, Tahara “Nicky” Cotton. Bonnie, Lonell and Nicky are the widow, grandson and daughter of Robertson’s former foster son.

(RIALTO, Calif.) Deborah Robertson was only 23 years old when a boy we’ll call David became her foster son.

David (whose real name she’d rather not use) was a 16-year-old friend of Robertson’s sister. For a variety of reasons, he could no longer live with his parents and had become a ward of the San Diego County Department of Children’s Services.

He faced placement in a foster home and, with that, an uncertain future. That was, until Robertson stepped in.

“He needed a foster parent in his own neighborhood so he could graduate from the same high school he was attending then,” Robertson said. “I already knew him through my sister, and they let me become his foster parent.”

Robertson served as David’s legal “mother” until he turned 18. She provided him acceptance, mentoring and, even though she wasn’t much older than him, the adult presence that is critical in a teen’s life.

David stayed in her home for about 18 months, until shortly after graduating from high school. Later, he became part of her family in a different way, because he married her sister.

The kinship continued until David died of kidney failure at age 40.

Robertson’s relationship with David gives her a deep appreciation for the needs of today’s teenage children in the foster care system.

“Teenagers need a stable environment that they feel comfortable in,” Robertson said. “David had people around him who loved him and made him feel like part of a family. It is important to give a young person a sense of belonging, and that’s what foster parents can provide, even if they don’t know the child before he or she comes to their home.”

Ritchie Howard, who has foster parented a number of teenagers placed in his home by Knotts Family and Parenting Institute, and who also works with troubled teens as a member of the Rialto Youth Accountability Board, agrees that teens in the foster system need good, loving homes as much as younger children.

“Love is what conquers all,” Howard said. “If they’re given love, they are going to benefit.”

That’s why they are currently foster parenting a teenager as well as a younger child and have previously done so for numerous other teens as foster parents through Knotts Family and Parenting Institute.

In the Inland Empire, Knotts Family and Parenting Institute works with both San Bernardino and Riverside departments of children’s services to find homes for all ages of children, from babies to teenagers. It has the greatest need for foster parents who will take in teenagers.

“The counties try to place the teens in the same area so that they will not have to change schools. That is our goal as well,” said Alfreda Bantum, Foster Family Agency coordinator. If they are unable to find a home nearby, they simply place the client in whatever home has an opening, working with all foster family agencies like ours until they find a placement.”

Since 1992 the Knotts Family and Parenting Institute has provided foster family services for the children, parents and foster parents of Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

For more information, or to become a foster parent, call the Knotts Family and Parenting Institute at (909) 880-0600.

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10.31.2008 Knotts Family Parenting Agency Comments Off on All Children Need A Parent’s Love – Even Teenagers

All Children Need A Parent’s Love – Even Teenagers

Rialto City Council Member Deborah Robertson and her mother Julia Calhoun, far right, with (from left) Deborah’s sister Bonnie Cotton, Bonnie’s grandson Lonell Williams and Bonnie’s daughter, Tahara “Nicky” Cotton. Bonnie, Lonell and Nicky are the widow, grandson and daughter of Robertson’s former foster son.

(RIALTO, Calif.) Deborah Robertson was only 23 years old when a boy we’ll call David became her foster son.

David (whose real name she’d rather not use) was a 16-year-old friend of Robertson’s sister. For a variety of reasons, he could no longer live with his parents and had become a ward of the San Diego County Department of Children’s Services.

He faced placement in a foster home and, with that, an uncertain future. That was, until Robertson stepped in.

“He needed a foster parent in his own neighborhood so he could graduate from the same high school he was attending then,” Robertson said. “I already knew him through my sister, and they let me become his foster parent.”

Robertson served as David’s legal “mother” until he turned 18. She provided him acceptance, mentoring and, even though she wasn’t much older than him, the adult presence that is critical in a teen’s life.

David stayed in her home for about 18 months, until shortly after graduating from high school. Later, he became part of her family in a different way, because he married her sister.

The kinship continued until David died of kidney failure at age 40.

Robertson’s relationship with David gives her a deep appreciation for the needs of today’s teenage children in the foster care system.

“Teenagers need a stable environment that they feel comfortable in,” Robertson said. “David had people around him who loved him and made him feel like part of a family. It is important to give a young person a sense of belonging, and that’s what foster parents can provide, even if they don’t know the child before he or she comes to their home.”

Ritchie Howard, who has foster parented a number of teenagers placed in his home by Knotts Family and Parenting Institute, and who also works with troubled teens as a member of the Rialto Youth Accountability Board, agrees that teens in the foster system need good, loving homes as much as younger children.

“Love is what conquers all,” Howard said. “If they’re given love, they are going to benefit.”

That’s why they are currently foster parenting a teenager as well as a younger child and have previously done so for numerous other teens as foster parents through Knotts Family and Parenting Institute.

In the Inland Empire, Knotts Family and Parenting Institute works with both San Bernardino and Riverside departments of children’s services to find homes for all ages of children, from babies to teenagers. It has the greatest need for foster parents who will take in teenagers.

“The counties try to place the teens in the same area so that they will not have to change schools. That is our goal as well,” said Alfreda Bantum, Foster Family Agency coordinator. If they are unable to find a home nearby, they simply place the client in whatever home has an opening, working with all foster family agencies like ours until they find a placement.”

Since 1992 the Knotts Family and Parenting Institute has provided foster family services for the children, parents and foster parents of Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

For more information, or to become a foster parent, call the Knotts Family and Parenting Institute at (909) 880-0600.

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10.14.2008 Knotts Family Parenting Agency Comments Off on Agency Helps Foster Children Find Loving Families

Agency Helps Foster Children Find Loving Families

Photo caption: Gwen Knotts, with James Knotts, her husband of 30 years. As the Chief Executive Officer Gwen Knotts she has lead a diverse and dedicated team of child development professionals to provided a safe, loving environment for hundreds of children since 1992.


(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Sixteen years ago, Gwen Knotts’ heart was breaking. As a public health nurse, she saw many children being neglected. It wasn’t that their parents didn’t love them. They simply did not know how to be good parents.

“Unfortunately, babies don’t come with an owners’ manual,” she said. “Raising children is the most important job people will ever have, but one for which so many are ill-prepared.”

Knotts’ passion for children led her to develop the Knotts’ Family and Parenting Institute in 1992. Since then, by recruiting and training foster parents to care for children who must be removed from unsafe home situations. Knotts has provided a safe, loving environment for hundreds of children.

“All you need to be a foster parent is a heart for children and a house large enough to reasonably accommodate them,” Knotts said. “We provide training, a small amount of compensation and other support for our foster families.”

Knotts Family and Parenting Institute can place foster children with qualified families living in San Bernardino or Riverside counties. To qualify a family, Knotts’ social workers will interview the parents, conduct background checks and visit their homes to make sure they are safe and adequate. Parents are required to attend special training. Once everything is completed, Knotts Family and Parenting Institute will certify them as foster parents.

Once a foster child is placed in the new home, a Knotts social worker will visit them weekly to see that all is going well. Social workers also help the children work through any problems they might be having.

These children come to Knotts through Child Protective Services and other government agencies. The Institute maintains a list of pre-approved foster parents, so it can receive children from CPS and place them in homes on short notice.

About 50 foster families are working with Knotts at any given time. In some areas of the Inland Empire, especially the Low Desert of Riverside County, there is an immediate need for more foster parents, and there is need throughout the two-county region for parents who will accept teenage children.

Knotts also offers training to biological parents. This training helps the foster children return home to their families. “Always the ultimate goal is to return the child home or to a permanent situation,” she explained. “Ideally, that is with the parents, another family member or foster parents are encouraged to adopt.”

Knotts is committed to helping its children find permanent homes. It is currently in the process of applying for an adoption license. Until then, it supports the foster parents as they go through the application process of either county or a private adoption agency.

Since 1992 the Knotts Family and Parenting Institute has provided foster family services for the children, parents and foster parents of Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

For more information, or to become a foster parent, call the Knotts Family and Parenting Institute at (909) 880-0600 or 1-800-9-KIDS-FAST (1-800-954-3732).

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08.06.2008 Knotts Family Parenting Agency Comments Off on The Dad who doesn’t have to be

The Dad who doesn’t have to be

Colton stay-at-home dad is ideal role model for troubled teen boys in foster care.

(COLTON, Calif.) Teenage boys can prove to be the most difficult to place in foster care. Unfortunately, they are the ones who often need the most help.

That’s where Ritchie Howard of Colton comes in. The 56-year-old grandfather is the uncommon stay-at-home dad for children in foster care in San Bernardino County. Often, he is called upon by the agency he works with – Knotts Family and Parenting Institute – to care for teenage boys who are temporarily removed from their home due to parental abuse or neglect. Though not always, some come with emotional and behavioral challenges that are compounded by having changed homes, schools, neighborhoods and routines numerous times.

The institute sees Howard as a role model for teens, many of whom come from households with absent fathers. The need for male foster parents is on the rise. The need is also urgent because males can serve as role models and mentors for teenage boys as they enter adolescence.

“One of the most critical roles a foster father can provide is assisting a teenage boy in role identity as well as being an inspiration for future endeavors,” said Dr. Lewis King, training and program director for Knotts Family and Parenting Institute in San Bernardino.

“That doesn’t mean a mother can’t be a role model for a teenage boy,” said Dr. King, who is also a psychiatry professor at UCLA. “But her challenges are more difficult. Situations in which there are two parents in a foster care home are ideal, since they can provide extra resources by assisting each other in parenting a teen.”

“You just have to have more resources in the household,” Dr. King said. “When we identify and train foster parents, our task is to lend complete support. Our social workers frequently check on the families and intervene if there are problems. Still, one parent can get overwhelmed by the responsibility.”

It was his wife’s idea for Howard to become a foster care parent in 2005. Howard, an adult and adolescent mental health worker with five biological children, went along with the plan.

He and Christina joined the cadre of specially trained foster parents at Knotts, and received three children through the agency right away. Christina is a licensed vocational nurse at Patton State Hospital and had complications in her hours for work.

This meant the primary parenting fell to Howard. He reduced his hours at Canyon Ridge Hospital in Chino to care for the children. So far, 14 children who have since come through their home, some for a few days, others for as long as 18 months. The family plans to adopt at least one of them.

Howard wants to make it clear the family task was sometimes tough, but extraordinarily rewarding. Teenage boys can be especially headstrong and disrespectful, he said.

One 14-year-old boy arrived at his house wearing gang colors. Howard immediately put a stop to that.

“The boy needed a man to care about him and guide him. He had no father that he knew. He was trying to fill this void with gangs and it’s impossible.” He also liked to fight and he picked on other boys in Howard’s house. “You have to have a lot of patience to deal with them. You’ve got to show them tough love. With love and support the turn around is marvelous.”

Knotts Family and Parenting Institute provides Howard with support and resources through weekly visits from a social worker and monthly meetings that involve the other parents. The institute provides counseling, referrals, tutoring and weekend activities for the children. “They do everything they can to enlighten you on foster care for teens and managing combative behavior,” Howard said.

The Knotts Family and Parenting Institute is all too aware of how critical it is to involve fathers such as Howard in foster parenting. He is one of 30 fathers who have worked with the Knotts Family and Parenting Institute over the past five years, compared to 400 mothers, many of whom run single parent households. The under-representation of dads in foster families mirrors American society, where fathers are absent in the lives of one in three children.

In keeping with this, the Institute has specific training programs geared toward fathers in two-parent homes. Very few foster parents are single dads. One of the programs assists fathers in developing skills for life and job opportunities.

Because of teen behavioral problems, “Foster parents tend to be more interested in opening their home to younger children,” said Gwen Knotts, CEO and president of the Knotts Family and Parenting Institute. “It takes a special parent to care for teens, made more difficult (as we insist) when siblings need to be kept together,” Knotts added.

Howard has taken in as many as three siblings at once and understands firsthand the importance of keeping brothers and sisters together. The oldest of nine children, Howard grew up helping his mother care for his younger siblings while she worked nights as a certified nursing assistant. His father was a foundry worker in Los Angeles who struggled with alcoholism and died of the disease at age 57.

Double pneumonia killed Howard’s 36-year-old mother when she was pregnant with her tenth child, who also died. Sixteen-year-old Howard urged his grieving father to keep the entire family together and let him take care of his siblings.

“My dad felt overwhelmed that he couldn’t take care of all his children.” An aunt and uncle in San Bernardino took in three of his brothers and sisters, said Howard, who stayed with his father. Four other siblings entered the foster care system.

Howard grew into adulthood in the 1970s and did what he could to help his fractured family. At one point, his 15-year-old brother needed his help.

“His foster parents hit him with sticks and garden hoses,” said Howard, then a 26-year-old post office worker. He drove his Dodge van to San Bernardino to pick up his brother. “ I took him back to LA to live with me.”

Some of Howard’s siblings failed to cross successfully into adulthood. One of his brothers went to prison, another had a mental breakdown, a third died in a shooting. Howard weathered family tragedy by pursuing a career in mental health.

When he became a foster dad, Howard brought a special love and understanding to boys from troubled homes. He recalled three brothers who came into his care, ages 11, 7 and 5. This was their third foster home.

The first words out of the 11-year-old’s mouth were: “I don’t talk to strangers.” Same for the middle child: “I don’t talk to strangers,” he repeated. But the little one warmed to Howard. “I’ll talk to you,” he said.

“Since then, they called me Daddy as long as they stayed with me,” Howard said. “Their dad was in prison. For a while, we were one family.”

Since 1982 the Knotts Family and Parenting Institute has provided foster family services for the children, parents and foster parents of Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

For more information or to become a foster parent call the Knotts Family and Parenting Institute at (909) 880-0600.