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Woman who trains foster parents wins a High 5

By Scott Haws and Irinna Danielson | Posted - Jan. 27, 2012 at 8:25 a.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — Foster care workers are some of society's unsung heroes. For that reason, we chose to spotlight Liz Rivera in this week's High 5.

Liz has worked in child welfare for 18 years. For the past 12, she has worked as a trainer for the Utah Foster Care Foundation.

"The kids are the focus that all of us have and yet they wouldn't have their needs met if it wasn't for these families," she said.

"My focus tends to be the families because I know most of all if they're OK then the kids are going to be OK," she explained.

Liz teaches parenting classes to new foster parents. Her last class drew more than 200 people.


Liz goes beyond her job description, showing a unique love of the parents and children, and providing support long after classes are finished.

–Nomination


Kelly Peterson, CEO of the foundation, said, "It's so difficult to take care of someone else's children that are in foster care. She helps the families know what to do and how to care for them so the children's trauma is lessened."

A parent who learned from Liz wrote in her High 5 nomination that Liz "goes beyond her job description, showing a unique love of the parents and children, and providing support long after classes are finished."

Amy Boyack, a colleague at the foundation, said, "Liz is amazing. She's wonderful. We feel so confident inviting our families to her training and know that they are going to be well taken care of."

Liz said, "I get to kind of see their process with the journey and the kids. The foster parents are the ones doing the heavy lifting. I am just kind of a support to make life a little bit easier for them."

Liz was appreciative of a gift from our High 5 sponsors, Les Schwab. She broke open the basket and shared her treats with her colleagues.

If you know someone who deserves a High 5, nominate them here.

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Scott Haws
    Irinna Danielson

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