Meet Us Monday: Kate Norwalk
Kate Norwalk is the Assistant Professor of Psychology at NC State University. She started working at CFACE as a faculty partner in October of 2016. The main focus of her work with the Center involves training and advocacy for resource parents. Some of her projects include creating an online training program for resource parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) and performing the needs assessment for the Foster Family Alliance of NC (FFA-NC), which helped guide the organization’s programming across the entire state.
In 2016, she co-founded the Foster Family Alliance of NC (FFA-NC), a statewide non-profit organization that provides training, advocacy, and support for children and youth in NC the foster care system and the families and professionals that serve them. Since this time, she has become the FFA-NC Board President and has conducted focus groups, individual interviews, and surveys with more than 1,000 resource parents and child welfare professionals. These data collection efforts have yielded important findings that have guided FFA-NC outreach and programming throughout the state. She has shared these findings directly with the NC Division of Social Services to help guide programming and policy initiatives to meet the needs of resource parents in individual counties in North Carolina. Finally, she used these findings to guide the development of a NC Foster Parent Bill of Rights, with the purpose of acknowledging and protecting the rights of foster parents within the state of North Carolina. This bill passed unanimously in the NC House of Representatives (NC House Bill 769), and was signed into law by Governor Cooper this past August.
For more information on the Foster Family Alliance of NC, visit this link https://www.ffa-nc.org/. When asked what her favorite part of working with CFACE has been, she said it was the hands-on work she gets to do and mentioned that “as an early career professional, it can take years to build the type of community-engaged research program that CFACE has allowed me to engage in at this stage of my career. The work I do has meaningful, real-world applicability. I really feel like I am making a difference!”. Her interests and hobbies include spending time with her family, going on walks, watching movies, and playing games. She also explained that she’s recently become interested in gardening with native plants and is in the process of creating a wildlife habitat garden in their front yard and a pollinator garden in her backyard using plants and flowers native to NC.