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After more than 12 years as a Seneca Center foster parent, Linda’s guiding principle remains the same: “When kids come to my home, it’s not a foster home, it’s their home.” Since 1998, Linda has worked with a dozen children through Seneca’s Intensive Treatment Foster Care program, and she has embraced each one fully and unconditionally.


Linda became a foster parent as a single working mother because she wanted to expand her family. Today she shares her home in Tracy with three boys: her 13 year old foster son, her 21 year old former foster son, Larry, and her college-age biological son, Michael. For all three, she is known simply as “Mom.”


Linda makes it clear that she does not distinguish between the young men in her household. “I say ‘me and my sons,’ not ‘my foster kids.’ They’re my kids.”


As a foster parent, Linda has made a point to include the Seneca children in her care in all the family activities and adventures over the years. Together they have traveled to Tennessee, Texas, LA, and Oregon in her motor home, coordinated holiday food and toy drives, and enjoyed countless weekend camping trips.


“These are kids who need love and family support,” explains Linda. “Even though they might have a different last name, they are still part of your family.”


Linda has established lasting bonds with many of the youth she has fostered over the years, including 21 year old Kayla, who currently attends college in Southern California, but returns home during breaks and calls Linda on a regular basis for advice and support. Kayla lived with Linda and her family for over nine years and recently wrote a letter to Linda that said, “Thank you, Mom, for trying to bring out the good in us.”


Linda is enthusiastic about Seneca Center’s strong support services for foster families, and she credits the responsiveness and availability of staff members, in addition to the program’s “family atmosphere” for much of her success as a long-term foster parent. Linda considers many of the social workers and support counselors as close friends and doesn’t hesitate to proclaim “Seneca is family to us.”

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