250 Children and Counting: The Story of Pam Price and Her Impact as a Treatment Foster Care Parent

250 Children and Counting: The Story of Pam Price and Her Impact as a Treatment Foster Care Parent

Pam Price was very involved in high school activities – from cheerleading to basketball, she kept herself busy in her teenage years. After a school event one night, she remembers seeing a crowd of parents, waiting to drive their sons and daughters home. It was a mundane moment, but it had special significance for Pam, who grew up in a single-parent home. With her parent at work, Pam walked home alone in the dark. It was then that Pam first thought about becoming a foster parent.

“I didn’t want another child who wanted to do something positive in their life feel alone and that they didn’t have anyone to support them,” she said.

Pam carried that feeling for nearly 28 years, during which time she estimates that she fostered more than 250 children in the St. Louis area. Pam’s work in foster care is award-winning (more on that later), and she has spent time as a traditional, behavioral, and treatment foster parent. 

Cornerstones of Care currently has a need for treatment foster parents. This important responsibility requires additional training and a lot of patience. You could be a caring adult in the life of a child who has experienced significant trauma and needs your support to change the direction of their life. If you are interested in learning more about TFC, visit the Treatment Foster Care webpage to learn more. 

Pam recalled her first time as a treatment foster parent. She was caring for a girl, Anna*, who had been molested by someone in her family, and no one would believe her story. As a result of her trauma, Anna was violent towards her mother and grandmother and had to be removed from the home. 

Pam regularly had to de-escalate situations in which even the atmosphere in a room would trigger Anna when she entered it. Pam would watch Anna’s eyes, hands, breath, and body movements to see signs of rising emotion.

“I watched for what I was about to deal with and try to catch it before it starts,” said Pam. “I would do anything I could do to help in that moment.”

With Pam’s steady care and support, Anna worked through her anger, resentment, and shame, among other emotions. Pam offered hugs and let Anna put her head on her shoulder. Anna had difficulty articulating her feelings while looking Pam in the eye, so Pam encouraged her to stand back-to-back with her and talk through her feelings.

“When we stood back-to-back, she knew I was still there, and it gave her a chance to process what she was feeling,” said Pam.

Not only does Pam foster youth, but she has trained an estimated 175 foster parents. She serves as a co-Trainer for the St. Louis City and County Children Division, Bringing Families Together, and Family Forward. Her extraordinary work has been recognized in the St. Louis area, including the prestigious business and social club, the Missouri Athletic Club. Earlier this year, Pam was honored as one of six Women of Distinction who revolutionized business, civic engagement, philanthropic programs, and mentorship in the St. Louis area.

Pam’s work continues to help support young people in foster care. She sees the long-term benefits of showing foster kids how to make the right choices and believes that the ability to make good choices will have an impact on generations.

“Whatever you teach them is going to last long after you’re gone,” said Pam. “Your job is going to make an impact on the world, not just that child.”

You could have a similar impact as a treatment foster parent. If you are interested in learning more about TFC, contact us at treatmentfostercare@cornerstonesofcare.org.

*Name changed to protect privacy