Author and Foster Care Advocate Keri Vellis is Today’s Honoree

Keri and her husband Ted became licensed as foster parents about five years ago after Ted, who is in law enforcement, had a particularly grueling night on the job. He came home from work and told Keri about a very young child being left in the wake of a sad and violent domestic incident. “He said, ‘I wish I could have taken her home,’” Keri recalled. After that, despite the challenges of raising their own young children, the couple decided they could handle one or two more.

The new foster mom searched for a storybook that could gently address the topic to help ease the transition for the displaced children. When she couldn’t find anything suitable, she decided to write her own books for foster children and adoptive kids as well as children who have been abused and neglected.

Keri wrote Sometimes…A Story of Transition for Foster and Adopted Children for foster parents to pick up when they are seeking tools to help them succeed at the often-challenging task of supporting and nurturing foster children. When I Was Little was written to for kids who have been a victim of abuse. Her books provide an identifiable story and comforting resolution for such children, whoare often so isolated and feel this has only happened to them. The books help them feel not so alone and reinforce they are not the only person this has happened to. Keri knew she needed to find an illustrator who could convey the emotions and tone of her story with lively and colorful art. In a twist of fate, she was introduced to illustrator Jin Lehr, who happened to be a one-time foster child herself. Having aged out of the system, Jin understood the emotions of what Keri had written because she had gone through it as a child.

The book is an ideal tool to have available in social service agencies, law enforcement agencies, daycare and schools, as well as to have in a home library where foster children are living. Foster and resource families will find this book both helpful and inspirational. Even older children could relate to the feelings of sadness, loss and betrayal that are simply depicted in Keri’s books.

Keri’s Kids is dedicated to placing the books in the hands of the thousands of at-risk and foster children nationwide. Contributors at may designate a specific state or a single agency where they want their books to be sent. The funds that Keri’s Kids raises goes into printing and publishing more books for at-risk children.

Visit for more information.

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