Dr. Wayne Carson + Dr. Edna M. Foster
Life After Foster Care
11:30 a.m. - Registration
11:45 a.m. - Lunch Service
12:00 noon - Program
Cost per person is $35. Unpaid no-shows will be billed.
Wayne Carson has more than 30 years of experience working with children and families in a variety of roles, the last 22 years as Chief Executive Officer of ACH Child and Family Services (ACH). With a focus on “Protecting Children and Preserving Families,” ACH operates 18 different programs and services in several counties. Wayne leads a team of more than 650 who are dedicated to both preventing and treating child abuse, neglect, homelessness, and family separation.
Wayne has led substantial growth for ACH in response to community need: In 2021, the agency brought hope to more than 21,000 children and families. In 2014, Wayne successfully positioned ACH as the state’s first urban implementation of Community-Based Care, bringing much needed improvement to some of the chronic problems in Texas’ foster care system. When ACH delivered improved outcomes, he championed the “Our Community Our Kids” approach as the model for state-wide Foster Care Redesign, which has now expanded to three other regions in Texas. Thanks in part to the pioneering efforts of ACH, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services began replicating the Community-Based Care model throughout the state. In 2020, Our Community Our Kids became the first contractor to enter Stage II of Community Based Care, caring for both child and family.
Wayne holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla, and masters and doctorate degrees in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington. He serves on the board of the Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County and is past president of the Texas Alliance for Child and Family Services in Austin, TX. Wayne was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Texas at Arlington in 2009, and Not-for-Profit CEO of the Year by the Fort Worth Business Press in 2015. In 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbott appointed him to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Transition Legislative Oversight Committee to make recommendations regarding the reorganization of HHS into a system that is more efficient and effective in client service delivery. He is the father of three fantastic kids and has been married to his wife Vickie for 35 years.
Dr. Edna M. Foster is a mental health professional and an educator. She has over 30 years of mental health experience across a variety of settings including time spent working in a grant funded drug and alcohol treatment program in a rural community, providing outpatient mental health services to adolescents, providing outreach services and counseling to trauma victims through a grassroots organization, and providing crisis intervention, counseling and clinical assessments to adolescent within the juvenile justice system. She currently serves in the role as the Transitions Program Clinical Supervisor with the LIFE Project and Families Together Program at ACH Child & Family Services, where she oversees and manages all clinical services. She also serves as an Associate Professor with the University of Phoenix, where she has facilitated psychology courses for over 14 years. She actively volunteers in the community as a motivational speaker with other mental health professionals spreading awareness around the importance of addressing mental health within the African American community. In addition, she is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and is active with the Metropolitan Dallas Alumnae Chapter.
Dr. Foster received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Southern University and A&M College. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Mental Health Counseling from Southern University and A&M College. Dr. Foster earned a Doctor of Psychology degree in Clinical Psychology from the Texas School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University – Dallas. She is also a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor in the state of Texas.
Dr. Foster is an individual who takes her own life experiences and uses it as a motivation to help others. She is committed to helping others work through personal challenges while finding their own voice and a path of success. She believes in a more integrative, dynamic, and holistic approach to mental health. She is particularly concerned with the impact of loss and trauma and improving intervention to support trauma recovery for better emotional and physical health. Dr. Foster’s mission in life is to give hope to the hopeless while encouraging others to do the same.