Crossroads NOLA offers new foster care opportunities for parents and children

Tess Rowland

On Feb. 7, when twin premature infant boys in the foster care system did not have a place to go after having multiple families fall through, they ended up in the arms of Andrew and Allye Crosby. The Crosbys were flattered and eager to help. 

Over the years, the Crosbys have fostered as many as 39 children. 

Aside from having their three biological children, Ruby 7, Lucy 5, Evie 1, the couple decided to adopt two-year-old, Silus. 

“We just knew that we could show the love of Jesus by loving children,” said Andrew. 

Fostering wasn’t something the couple had talked about when they were married, but their congregation, First Baptist New Orleans, encouraged parish members to consider the opportunity. 

“You feel just blessed and humbled that you get to be a part of their life as a permanent safety net,” said Andrew. 

The Crosbys have felt like they have become better foster parents due to the Trust-Based Relational Intervention training they received through the organization Crossroads NOLA. 

The training has four parts and its goal is to alleviate trauma by giving foster parents the knowledge to know how to recognize behaviors and how to provide solutions. 

The program was originally created back in 2014, at the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development. 

In studies conducted through the Karyn Purvis Institute, parents who had taken the training reported children in the treatment group demonstrated significant decreases in behavioral problems and decreases in trauma symptoms. 

According to the National Foster Care Youth Institute, 85% of children have already moved twice despite being in the system for a year. 

According to Crossroads Executive Director Anna Palmer these situations don’t always happen because foster families are doing a bad job. 

“They are in a home and foster families can’t meet their needs so they asked to be moved,” said Palmer. 

She also said that a harmful experience to a child in foster care is having to continually bounce around homes. 

After they had become TBRI certified, the Crosbys noticed a change in their parenting skills. They’re even more focused on understanding the causes of trauma and building healthy relationships with their foster children 

“These children have had more pain and suffering than you can imagine, so it’s not just going to be a quick fix when they come into your home,” said Andrew. 

Andrew even recalled one boy in their home who had a sensory processing disorder, but he didn’t know it at the time. 

“When they started talking about how conditions like this come about in a child’s life and certain trigger points, I saw that this was definitely him,” said Andrew. 

Looking back with the new skills he obtained at the training, he wished he could have provided even more comfort and support for that child. 

Ultimately, the Crosbys agreed that initially the thought of fostering a child can be daunting, but the experience is truly remarkable. 

“So many people are frightened to begin this process because they fear they’ll get too attached and be heartbroken when a child leaves, but that’s what these kids need is someone to attach and love them,” said Allye. 

Crossroads is now offering the training through a series called TBRI Fridays. It will be offered throughout nine regions of Louisiana. For more information on TBRI training or getting involved in the foster community, visit their website