DSP's Making a Difference: Tamara Foster
As part of DSP Recognition Week, FADSP is pleased to recognize direct support professionals (DSPs) who are making a meaningful difference in the lives of the people they serve. Tamara Foster is one of those DSPs.
Tamara Foster has been with Pine Castle since 2007. Over the past 14 years, she has worked in nearly every department and has been an asset to each team she has worked with. She began as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) in the day program, transitioned to the Residential program, then studied and became a Behavioral Health Technician.
After the day program reopened in September 2020 due to the pandemic, Tamara worked as a DSP in our Life Enrichment program. Tamara has stepped up to take on many roles at Pine Castle over the past year and her flexibility and desire to be continuously learning and evolving as an employee have enabled Pine Castle to provide participants with the best possible care every day. After returning to campus the need arose for help in the Nursing Station. So, Tamara worked to become certified as a medication administrator specializing in tube feeding. Once that department was stabilized, she then moved to the Production team to fill a gap there. On top of all the work she has done to learn new roles, she is also currently enrolled in the DSP Apprenticeship Program, which creates defined career advancement opportunities for DSP staff members interested in pursuing professional growth within the organization, while providing the tools they need for success.
Her amazing attitude, incredible flexibility, and dedication to Pine Castle's mission and to the participants she serves in unparalleled. In each new role she has taken on, Tamara has shown commitment to learning every nuance of the job and doing the best work she can. She consistently exhibits incredible work ethic and continues to grow and challenge herself as an individual. In each new role she takes on, Tamara shows commitment to learning every nuance of the job and doing the best work she can. She consistently exhibits incredible work ethic and continues to grow and challenge herself as an individual.
Tamara is professional at all times while on the Pine Castle campus, exhibiting integrity and responsibility in her words, interactions, and behavior. Serving many of the same participants in her current role as she did as a Behavioral Heath Technician in the Mental Health Program, Tamara has been able to transfer her skills, understanding of confidentiality needs, and knowledge of participants into her current role in production. These skills have allowed her to create an environment that promotes physical and emotional well-being, while encouraging productivity and teamwork. She uses a person-centered approach in her shop, meeting regularly with each participant and providing them with the feedback and support they need to reach their goals. If a participant indicates that they would like to make a change to their goals or care plan, she is a great advocate to help them find the support they need to thrive.
Tamara goes above and beyond to ensure justice, fairness, and equity by working with each participant closely to alleviate problems they encounter when advocating for their rights and working through any barriers holding them back from achieving their goals. She works to uplift each person by using positive speech and encouragement through every step of the goal setting and achievement process. She provides a patient and listening ear to each of the clients she serves and ensures they feel heard and respected. Tamara has a passion for the clients that is evident even during simple conversations with her and she takes her role very seriously. She has become a leader among the direct support team, constantly pushing herself to reach new milestones and learn new skills to make her better at her job. She sets an example of excellence for everyone she encounters, and she not only ensures that she is upholding the highest professional and ethical standards, but that her coworkers are doing the same.
Thank you, Tamara for your continued service to the individuals served at Pine Castle!