We’re Relentless In Advocating On Behalf Of Kids In Foster Care

We dramatically improve the experiences and outcomes for kids in foster care, working to ensure they find safe, loving families, embraced by Foster Friendly Communities™ where they BELONG.

We Have 1 Mission: Family

To dramatically improve the experiences and outcomes for kids in foster care by ensuring they can be placed with caring foster and/or adoptive families.

We Focus On 2 Profound Problems

1

Recruitment

With close to 400,000 kids in foster care there are half as many licensed foster homes to care for them. The frustrations of navigating an overloaded child-welfare system can derail even motivated families.

2

Retention

Half of new foster families quit in the first year, often blaming a lack of social support. The result is a “leaky bucket” where the pace of recruitment cannot keep up with the rate of attrition, and it is the vulnerable kids who fall into the gap.

These conditions lead to kids waiting longer and moving between temporary placements more often, compounding their trauma and reinforcing the notion that they don’t belong.

We Offer 4 Innovative Solutions

At America’s Kids Belong our focus is on accelerating mission achievement against the two key problems we solve for, so our solutions evolve with the child-welfare landscape. In 2024 our key focus areas include:

Each year our I Belong Project™ films 500+ adoption-eligible kids in foster care. The video storytelling initiative gives a face and voice to young people seeking adoptive families. 

Foster Friendly Communities™ rally municipal, business, faith and nonprofit leaders to prioritize foster care and ensure a family for every child and a supportive community around every family to support and retain them.

Coalitions for Change – We’ve been part of numerous governors’ campaigns, which leverage the convening power of the governor’s office and engage child welfare, business and faith leaders at a state level to drive sustainable change in foster care.

Foster / Adoption Journeys – We offer content, webinars and other resources through AKB and our partners

Our Shared Services Team

Our mission is executed at a grassroots level by our state-based teams, supported and empowered by a lean shared services team that provides strategic direction, technological enablement and operational efficiencies.

Executive Team

Brian Mavis

Brian Mavis

Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships

AKB co-founder, dad, former foster dad and pastor, world’s greatest “papa”, and husband to the beautiful Julie Mavis for 31 years. Enjoys good company, conversations, and cuisine.

Phil Grizzle

Phil Grizzle

Executive Director, Operations

A bio, foster and adoptive dad of four, Phil’s leadership focus is on sustainable change, excellence, and efficiency. He loves exploring new places, the outdoors and is continually in search of the perfect cup of coffee. 

Nanette Kirsch

Nanette Kirsch

Executive Director, Marketing and Communication

Tech marketer, writer, wife, mom to four adoptive and bio kids, Nanette loves all forms of clear and compelling communication, especially over a home-cooked meal with friends and family.

I Belong Project™ Shared Services Team

Lisel Atherton

Lisel Atherton

Child Welfare Specialist

A former child-welfare caseworker, Lisel helps ensure the safety and dignity of the kids filmed for IBP. She is a bio and foster mom to four busy sons.

Brian Edman I Belong Project Creative Director

Brian Edman

Creative Director

Brian leads video editing for the I Belong Project and enjoys using his talents to improve the outcomes of kids in foster care.

Operational Shared Services

Leah Busboom

Leah Busboom

Operations Project Manager

Leah is a Salesforce administrator and operational lead on the Foster Friendly App. She also is a published author and committed advocate for vulnerable kids.

Marty Hyde

Marty Hyde

Operations Project Manager

Marty manages special projects for IBP and the leadership team and provides support for AKB Operations. Her work allows our entire team more easily reach their goals and fulfill our mission. She has served on a local church’s WRAP team.

Amy Booth

Amy Booth

Operations Project Manager

Amy works behind-the-scenes in Operations managing donations and systems that support AKB’s team members, assisting them in improving the experience and changing the outcomes of kids in foster care.

Abby Koenigseker

Abby Koenigseker

Development Manager

Abby is a foster mom and bio-mom. She believes every child needs a loving home and that is why she is a part of the AKB team. Because, as Brian Mavis puts it, a good family is better than a program. It is an honor to do my part in helping kids and families.

Marketing

Travis Vangsnes

Travis Vangsnes

Grant Writer and Storyteller

A bio, foster and adoptive dad, Travis meets with, honors and shares the stories of folks from all dimensions of AKB’s foster, adoption and Foster Friendly work.

Christina Bauer

Christina Bauer

Social Media Manager

A former foster youth and new mom, Tina draws from both experiences to ensure an authentic, knowledgeable and empathetic voice across AKB’s social media platforms.

Juliana Hill

Juliana Hill

Marketing Manager

A creative director with 15+ yrs experience in both nonprofit and commercial sectors Juliana is committed to seeing at-risk youth and children find forever families.

Want to Join Our Growing Team?

Do you have a heart for vulnerable kids and a desire to make a difference through your vocation?

America’s Kids Belong is a mission- and performance-driven organization with a decade of success improving the world for kids in foster care.

We’re focused on accelerating our reach and impact nationwide. Our national team is fully remote; our state chapters and affiliates primarily work from home. Some locations have limited on-site work settings and teams go on-site for I Belong Project video shoots. 

Email your resume and cover letter if you like to have fun and create impact every day!

Email: jobs@amkidsbelong.org

Contact Us

America’s Kids Belong
1151 Eagle Dr., #464
Loveland, CO 80537

I Belong Project and Foster Friendly Communities are trademarks of America’s Kids Belong.