Fostering Hope Foundation

Stability. Enrichment. Connection.

aka Fostering Hope Program   |   Colorado Springs,, CO   |


Fostering Hope recruits and trains volunteers to become an extended family of “aunts, uncles, and grandparents” to support the needs of foster families and of youth aging out of foster care.

Ruling year info


National Director, CEO

Angela Carron MD

Main address

111 S. Tejon St., Suite 112

Colorado Springs,, CO 80903 USA

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Formerly known as

Fostering Hope Program



NTEE code info

Foster Care (P32)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is a church.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Fostering Hope exists to fill an important role the child welfare system is not designed to fill. The child welfare system removes children from harm, but once removed, they need lots of love, calm and stability, and positive experiences to begin to heal after their traumatic experiences. Foster parents are well-suited to provide just that kind of support, but they, too, need similar support. Fostering is isolating, grueling work, and burnout is high. Consequently, children “bounce around” from home to home, getting re-traumatized by repeated rejection and uncertainty. By the time they are adults and “age out” of the system at 18-21, the statistics are abymsal. It’s no surprise that only 23% will complete school and most will have difficulty holding a job. National statistics show that up to 1/3 of the homeless and 1/2 of the incarcerated were once such foster children. While a system is not designed to provide love, make a meal, or be a friend -- the community is. We work to pro

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Foster Family Support Teams

Fostering Hope solicits, trains, and facilitates small teams of volunteers from communities of faith to provide friendship, emotional support and practical help to foster families. The teams function as an extended family to the foster family.

The purpose of the team is to help stabilize the household; to provide enriched experiences and modeling for the children; and to help connect the children to other young and adult members of the civic community. In effect, our effort is to enfold the children in a familial, intimate trauma sensitive environment that they would not otherwise get within the rigid constraints of the child welfare system. The program is modeled from scientific research on what the brain needs to heal from developmental trauma

The role of the team is to provide non-judgmental, loving service, as directed by the foster parents. Proselytizing is not permitted. All volunteers undergo background checks and work with staff coordinators to ensure safety.

Population(s) Served

The purpose of this element, of our overall effort, is to provide and emulate the support offered by typical families to their teenage and young adult children as they launch into independence. Approximately, forty youngsters will "age out" of our families over the four years. Their foster parents have strongly emphasized the need for a private support system that levels the "playing field" for their youngsters.

Social connections - we work with churches to develop safe "Havens" where in our youngsters can meet and develop long term relationships with concerned adults who are committed to their long term positive welfare. Haven activities involve a combination of fun, community building and life skills learning. Our purpose is to develop a network of sustainable, helpful adult relationships for youth as they navigate the challenge of early adulthood without the support of the foster care system. In effect, we are replacing the foster care system with a more typical family, friend network.

Work - Fostering Hope collaborates with local businesses and other agencies to create work opportunities tailored to the unique needs of teens who have suffered early childhood trauma. Many businesses are willing to take a risk on youth who have had challenges, but the partnership increases the odds of success. We provide financial, training and consultative support to businesses. This enables them to provide internships and employment to these at risk youngsters and help them to acculturate to the work environment.

Housing - Mutually supportive roommates and safe, affordable housing are critical to the success of the youngsters launch. We've been exploring a two year program of transitional housing that would both, protect and support the youngster as they enter into the "cold bath" of the reality of independent living. We plan initiate the program during the summer of 2018.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Fostering Hope uses the customary foster care measures:Safety--Protected from abusePermanence--Long term relationship with caring, reliable adultsWell being--Thriving developmentally

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Foster Family Support Teams

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

The safety metric is reportable incidents of negligence or abuse of a youngster by adults or other children. Our staff and volunteers are mandated reporters who, by law must report any observed abuse.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Fostering Hope aims to fundamentally reverse the abysmal outcomes plaguing children who grow up in foster care, and in doing so end the inter-generational cycle of abuse and neglect. It starts with foster parent retention. Most foster parents are committed, hardworking people who have a heart for helping children in need, and they are the best equipped to do so. Yet fostering is isolating, grueling work, and burnout is high. By providing practical and emotional support to the parents, we contribute to a healing environment for the children. The disruption rate, in which children “bounce around” from home to home, has declined from 1/3 to 1/10. Most foster parents share they would have quit were it not for their team. Children are doing better in school and exhibiting healthier behaviors.

Our strategy for teens/young adults is similar, but age-adapted to their needs. We have cobbled together a comprehensive support system that includes deep, long-term relationships with healthy adults; connections to employers; transportation; and housing. In effect, we are leveling the playing field in a way that provides these youth with the same kind of resources and safety that most young adults find in their own families or communities naturally.

Our strategy is rooted in the bottom-up principle that the foster parents and the youth who are aging out of foster care are in the best position to know what they need for success, and we consider it our role to develop and refine the model that will meet that need.

The first step in our strategy is to surround each foster family with a team of volunteers who will function as an extended family to the foster family and will remain with them for the long term. The teams directly engage with the parents by shouldering some of their burden in practical and meaningful ways in order to lessen stress while providing formative developmental experiences for the children they care for. Support teams typically:

• Assist with household maintenance and meals.
• Help transport children to appointments and family visitations.
• Tutor children and help with their involvement in athletic and recreational activities.
• Help children build relationships and connections within civic and faith communities.
• Become an emotional support system for the foster parents.

Selected from faith communities, the volunteers are chosen because of their caring, loving nature and their willingness to serve as needed by the foster parent.

Secondly, when ready, teenage youth in these families naturally and gradually enter our support system specially designed to meet the needs of emerging adulthood. Teens and young adults can remain a part of this community, known as Fostering Adulthood, until they no longer need us, which is typically into their late 20s. It provides ongoing opportunity to develop relationships with concerned adults from the community that are desirous of participating in the lives of these youth. We also aid with transportation, work, housing, and life skills.

Over the last 16 years we have assembled a comprehensive community network of faith communities, businesses, volunteers, donors and child welfare partners to do this work, so that no one organization or individual is overburdened, and so that we are not over-reliant on any one source of support to conduct our mission. To date, we have developed a network of 30+ faith communities who support our mission with some 200-plus volunteers per year. Most of these volunteers serve for many years. We also have 15+ small businesses that provide job opportunities for our youth. Multiple child placement agencies, contracted through the Dept. Of Human Services, refer families to us, and we have earned the complete trust and endorsement of the system. Similarly, we have developed a broad and diverse mix of donors, with more than 95% of our budget coming from fundraising activities such as grant writing and soliciting for donations. In recent years, we have invested in capacity-building initiatives to improve our data gathering and management, administrative processes, and management so that we are capable of long-term, sustained growth.

In 16 years of operation, we have been able to engage the broader community to help us implement a model for supporting foster families and improving the quality of care experienced by their foster children. Starting with two foster families and an untested model, today we have served more than 150 families and 900 children, in addition to about 40 young adults who have exited the system. Nearly 800 volunteers have provided thousands of hours of service, which amounts to $2.2 million in value, based on commonly used standards for assigning worth to volunteer hours. Most importantly, however, are the outcomes.

For families:
-The disruption rate, which effectively measures how much children “bounce around,” has declined from 1/3 to 1/10.
-Almost all foster families say they contemplated quitting but did not do so because of the support of their team.
-The adoption rate for children who are unable to be reunifies is 3x higher than families without Fostering Hope teams.
-Children can participate in extracurricular activities and perform better in school than unsupported peers.

For teens/young adults:
-90% have graduated, compared to 23% for Colorado.
-Almost all are employed, while nationally most former foster youth are unemployed/underemployed.
-Fewer than 20% have experienced homelessness and/or incarceration, compared to 50% nationally within the first 2 years of aging out.

What's next?
1. Add between 10-15 new support teams to fully meet the need in El Paso County, in which families do not linger on a waiting list.
2. Explore national replication of our model to other communities.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Foster parents, youth in foster care, and youth who have exited the foster care system.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, monthly meetings with families and youth,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Fostering Hope is launching a foster parent alumni group to support foster families who adopt all of their children and discontinue fostering. This was a direct result of feedback received from those foster parents.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    From the beginning, Fostering Hope established itself as a learning organization. Being "Bottom up" is one of our 7 core values of the organization. Our program is Trauma-Informed, and sharing power is a foundational principle of being trauma-informed. Regularly asking those we serve what they need is part of our identity, and it's why the people we serve often refer to us as their family.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,


Fostering Hope Foundation

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Fostering Hope Foundation

Board of directors
as of 05/21/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

NIck Colarelli III M.S.

Hunter Engineering Company

Board co-chair

Dr. Gina Colarelli O'Connor

Babson School of Business

Jill Bradley

Child Welfare Systems

Gina Colarelli O'Connor


Patrick O'Connor


Nick Colarelli


Angela Colarelli Carron

National Director, CEO

David Carron


Vincent Colarelli

Vice President

Karen Colarelli


Nick Colarelli III


Janet Colarelli


Kathy Colarelli Beatty


Chris Beatty


Daniel O'Connor


Mike Carroll

Business & Community

Susan Presti

Business & Community

Judy McCarty

Business & Community

Bill Johannsen

Business & Community

Luanne Long

Business & Community

Steve Scott

Business & Community

Anthony Colarelli


Steve Kennedy


Kenneth O'Connor


Anna Carron


Jennifer Swan

Child Welfare Systems

Terry Oesterle

Child Welfare Systems

Harrison Hunter

Business & Community

Trudy House

Business & Community

Michele Strub-Heer

Business & Community

Amy Salisbury-Werhane

Business & Community

Barb Lara


Tarah King

Business & Community

Deacon Dick Bowles


Catania Jones


Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/21/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/21/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.