Please meet Kim Hemmert…
I’m so excited to join the Family Advocates team! From an early age I developed a love for children and families. As a youth I became friends with a family who were foster parents. I provided respite and support for this family as children came in and transitioned out of their home. This was my first experience with foster care, and understanding how systems work. As I gazed lovingly at one of their beautiful sleeping babes, I decided then and there (at age 14) that I would be a foster parent someday. It was truly a defining experiencing in my life.
I got my bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in French. In college, I had the opportunity to study abroad and lived in Pau, France. Needless to say, I love all things French! (food, language, history, culture, etc.) I’ve visited France once since living there and still am connected with people I met when I lived there.
I completed my undergraduate practicum at Big Brothers, Big Sisters. I worked alongside case managers and volunteers and learned how vital it is for kids to feel connected and the importance of community support. The Executive Director encouraged me to continue my education and pursue a master’s degree in social work.
My work with the YMCA was as the Summer Camp Aquatics Director, and as an Outdoor Environmental Education Specialist. Families would entrust us with their most prized possessions, their children, for a week-long residential camp. I cultivated relationships with parents and children and helped build confidence in children. Working with kids and seeing them grow was very rewarding. I loved teaching kids about nature, while in nature. The YMCA furthered my love of working with children and families.
As a Head Start and Early Head Start teacher, I used my knowledge and education of Human Development and Early Childhood Education to teach children and parents about child development, social and emotional learning, fine and gross motor skills, as well as facilitated parenting classes, cultivated parent and community volunteers, and worked as a liaison between parents and resources. During this time, I became a foster parent for the state of Idaho. I felt a sense of urgency for children in foster care and stopped working for Early Head Start to focus solely on caring for children in foster care. I volunteered as the Vice President for the Policy Counsel for Head Start and worked closely with their administrative team to move their programs and policy agenda forward.
Working with biological families and children in foster care reaffirmed my desire and passion to help others. I pursued and completed my Master’s degree in Social Work at Boise State University and graduated in May of 2020. I completed my practicum at the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund. There, I worked on a comparative analysis research project for how states define imminent risk. I worked with the Idaho Resilience Project team, and used Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) data to determine the attributable fraction for Idaho residents. I learned that child abuse prevention is where I want to be!
In my free time, I enjoy listening to audiobooks. My current favorite authors are Malcolm Gladwell, Brene’ Brown, and Thich Nhat Hahn. I like lap swimming, dancing, , traveling and learning new things. I am interested in environmental social work, bridging the gap between food waste and food insecurity. I support the arts and currently volunteer at the Boise Little Theatre. I love my family and community and look forward to my journey Strengthening Families with Family Advocates!