Foster and Adoptive Family Services
Meet FAFS Family Advocates

Our Family Advocates provide support to licensed resource parents in NJ; foster, adoptive & kinship families; as well as foster, adoptive & kinship parent applicants.

Meet the Family Advocate for your county:

AtlanticBergenBurlingtonCamdenCape MayCumberlandEssex
GloucesterHudsonHunterdonMercerMiddlesexMonmouthMorris
OceanPassaicSalemSomersetSussexUnionWarren

Meet Miguelina Nunez, FAFS Family Advocate (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Passaic, Somerset, Warren)

Miguelina Nunez

Miguelina Nunez
201.863.3179 x2006

I've been a foster parent for over 10 years and have fostered over 40 children. I enjoy my work as a FAFS Family Advocate, which I began 5 years ago, because it allows me to help many more children by offering support to the families that care for them. My goal is to make sure no foster, adoptive or kinship parent ever feels like they are on their own. I'm proud to be a source of emotional support to my families, as well as administrative support throughout the licensing process and for the duration of their time as resource parents.

My goal is to make sure no foster, adoptive or kinship parent ever feels like they are on their own.

I consider every happy child a success story. When I think of the kids I've seen smiling at FAFS' Holiday Parties, or the relief and joy I've seen in their faces at adoptions I've attended, I'm reminded of how rewarding it is to be a FAFS Family Advocate. One story that stands out in my mind is the time that I had the pleasure of assisting in a sibling reunification. The children were separated in placement despite a court order to keep them together. Coincidentally, they had an aunt that was a licensed foster parent but was never contacted about taking in her niece and nephew. The aunt contacted me after being told by someone in the neighborhood that her family members were placed in foster care. After contacting the different workers on the case, I was told the children would not be moved because the aunt was licensed to take in two children but had only has one slot open. The next morning, I found out the children were moved into another foster home to be together because of the court order that was brought to their attention, but still the aunt would not be considered. I assisted the workers in sorting through the policy, and with the help of the CP&P (formerly DYFS) Area Director, the children were reunified with their aunt by the end of the day.

If you're a foster, adoptive or kinship parent in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Passaic, Somerset or Warren County New Jersey who needs support or assistance, contact Miguelina today.

Meet Sameerah Lewis-Diaab, FAFS Family Advocate (Burlington, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Sussex, Union)

Sameerah Lewis-Diabb

Sameerah Lewis-Diabb
908.754.5649 x7702

I've been a foster parent for nearly 10 years now. I've fostered 10 children and adopted 1. I have been assisting people from all walks of life every since I can remember; to get paid for it is a wonderful reward.

I provide that listening ear when there is an issue that may be of no importance to someone else, but is vital to foster, adoptive and kinship parents!

As a FAFS Family Advocate I am able to provide a sense of confidence and empowerment to foster, adoptive and kinship parents by supplying them with the appropriate information from CP&P policy/procedure to handle whatever their issues and/or concerns may be. I have the willingness to research services that are not immediately available in order to help parents help the children in their care as much as possible. I provide a sense of security because they are able to vent and/or share information that they would not choose to share or would not know how to express to CP&P. Having the ability to calm the waters before the storm when a foster parent calls in upset and not knowing where or who to turn to is advantageous. Most importantly, I provide that listening ear when there is an issue that may be of no importance to someone else, but is vital to foster, adoptive and kinship parents!

My work in helping children and families is most rewarding. I was asked to join a Family Team Meeting of two teenage siblings who were seriously acting out (not bathing, cutting school, not cleaning, fighting, leaving without permission). The foster parent had requested their removal. During the meeting I observed the two sisters who were coming into their own young womanhood were struggling with not being with their biological mother. I listened with extreme care to get a heartbeat on why these young women were acting out. At the conclusion of the meeting, I assisted in composing household rules for the girls as follows: Prepare for school the night before, (do homework and get school clothes out), help with household chores, do not throw food in the garbage, no lying, bathe and shower daily, set alarm at a comfortable time approx. 6am, no cutting classes, no fighting each other, come straight home from school, and always contact their foster mom for permission to go anywhere! The girls signed the rules that day, and today, the younger of the siblings is under KLG (kinship legal guardianship) with the foster parent, and the older sibling is now living independently. I am proud to help retain foster homes so we have more safe havens for our children.

If you're a foster, adoptive or kinship parent in Burlington, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Sussex or Union County New Jersey in need of support or assistance, contact Sameerah today.

Foster Adoptive & Kinship Parent Support in NJ - Meet Ashley Chiappano, FAFS Family Advocate (Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth, Ocean)

Ashley Chiappano

Ashley Chiappano
732.229.2518 x2216

I've been a foster parent since November of 2009. I've fostered 5 children and adopted 1 - my daughter. I am currently fostering her biological sister with the goal of adopting her. As an individual, I was always able to communicate and advocate for myself when needed. When I became a foster parent, I found that I was doing that for myself and the children I cared for more and more. I realized that being able to communicate effectively on behalf of others was something I wanted to do for other foster families. I actually sent an email to FAFS asking for help with the creation of a "Foster Parent Bill of Rights." When I was presented with the opportunity to be an FAFS Family Advocate, I was THRILLED!

My main goal is to empower, encourage and engage families through the everyday challenges of foster parenting.


When I'm helping my families, first and foremost, I try to listen. I was once told, "You have 2 ears and one mouth, so listen twice as much as you talk." But foster, adoptive and kinship families, they are often being told what to do, where to be and how things will go. They are usually not asked if they are doing okay. As their FAFS Family Advocate, I try to encourage them to speak up for themselves, advocate for the children they care for and make changes when needed. My main goal is to empower, encourage and engage families through the everyday challenges of foster parenting.

One of my favorite experiences as a FAFS Family Advocate was when I reached out to a newly licensed resource parent about a year ago. She had been trying to have a child for 14 years with no success, so many of our conversations were based on her overwhelming desire to be a mother and the frustration she felt while waiting "her turn." When my local CP&P (formerly DYFS) office was looking for a foster parent for a "hard to place" child, I let them know that the family was available. The child, a little boy, was placed with her the Friday before Mother's Day, and she were ecstatic! The boy had tremendous behavioral needs that she managed with love, attention and fierce determination. But after a short time, the boy was return to his biological family, and she was devastated. I often spoke about this family to the adoption staff and how much they are committed to being adoptive parents. She has now been placed with a pre-adoptive sibling group of three who are now legally free for adoption, and she is committing to being their forever family!

If you're a foster, adoptive or kinship parent in Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth or Ocean County New Jersey in need of support or assistance, contact Ashley today.

Meet Terri McClure, FAFS Family Advocate (Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem)

Terri McClure

Terri McClure
856.772.1549 x2021

I adopted two "waiting children" - siblings who were in foster care. I've been a FAFS Family Advocate for over 5 years. I admire this organization and everything it stands for. FAFS gives me an opportunity to provide people with the information, guidance, and support that I did not receive when I adopted my children. It is difficult to raise children who have survived trauma. I have learned so much through our journey as a family. My children have inspired me to share my knowledge and experiences and in turn assist people who are on a similar journey. If you have an understanding and strong support system, you have a reinforced foundation on which to raise your family. I am proud to be an advocate for the families and children in their care, and appreciative that FAFS recognizes and fulfills this great need in our state.

It is difficult to raise children who have survived trauma. I have learned so much through our journey as a family. My children have inspired me to share my knowledge and experiences and in turn assist people who are on a similar journey.

As a FAFS Family Advocate, I give people information so they are better equipped to navigate the child welfare system. I explain policy and procedure so people better understand "why" certain things are necessary. I offer guidance with any obstacles families encounter and assist in resolving any communication issues that arise. I assist in finding supportive services for the children in their homes, as well as the family as a whole. I connect people who have had similar experiences so they have an outlet to vent their frustrations in a healthy way. I remind everyone that we all share a common goal: the best interest of the children.

If you're a foster, adoptive or kinship parent in Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester or Salem County New Jersey who needs support or assistance, contact Terri today.

FAFS Family Advocates aid resource families in various ways including the following:

  • Advocate on your behalf with CP&P (formerly DYFS) and Office of Licensing
  • Answer questions and prepare correspondence or documentation
  • Attend CP&P (formerly DYFS) meetings with you as well as dispositional conferences and/or administrative reviews
  • Provide in-depth information about CP&P (formerly DYFS) policies and procedures and the Manual of Requirements for Resource Family Parents
  • Explain the institutional abuse investigation process as well as the possible outcomes
  • Act as a liaison/mediator between you and CP&P (formerly DYFS) as well as other community providers
  • Assist applicants through the licensing process
  • Work with you to identify local support through connecting with a FAFS volunteer committee or affiliate in your area

When should applicants contact their FAFS Family Advocate?

  • When they have questions about foster care or adoption
  • When they have questions about the licensing process

When should foster parents contact their FAFS Family Advocate?

  • When they have questions about CP&P (formerly DYFS) policies, procedures and licensing requirements
  • When they are informed that an Institutional Abuse investigation has started
  • When they want a FAFS Family Advocate to accompany them to meetings with CP&P (formerly DYFS)
  • When they want to question a CP&P (formerly DYFS) decision and/or action
  • When they need someone to talk to about foster care issues

When should foster parents, who are interested in adopting children in care, contact their FAFS Family Advocate?

  • When they need information on the adoption procedure and subsidy program
  • When they are not in agreement with the subsidy decision

When should parents, who have adopted through CP&P (formerly DYFS), contact their FAFS Family Advocate?

  • When they need information about available services
  • If they need to request a review of their adoption subsidy