This month, we honor our long-time friend and colleague, Lauren Frey. Lauren served as Plummer’s first Director of Permanency Practice Leadership before moving on to the next chapter of her life earlier this year. In a career spanning over four decades, Lauren has devoted her life’s work to advancing permanency for youth in foster care – ensuring each has a family unconditionally committed to nurture, protect and guide them to successful adulthood.
Family has always been important to Lauren – from annual meetups with her many siblings, to the yearly summer camp she organized at her home for her nieces and nephews who lived out of state. As a single young professional, four foster youth joined her family as older teens, three of them by adoption. After marrying her husband John who shared similar values, they also committed to be extended family for other young people.
Lauren’s early career included groundbreaking work with Project IMPACT, one of the first organizations to focus on permanency for older youth. She continued this work with Casey Family Services, where she served as Project Director for Permanency Services. Throughout her career, Lauren met, worked, and shared ideas with the women who would later become members of her own consulting team. Lauren and her team were initially hired by Plummer on a contract basis to help transform our model from one that focused on preparing youth to navigate life on their own, to one that prioritized finding a family for every young person, regardless of age, behavior or circumstance. Lauren had such a strong impact on the organization that she and her team were brought on as Plummer’s Permanency Practice Leadership division in 2016.
Practice Leadership works with other private and public child welfare workers and agencies to provide training and consultation on best permanency practices, drawing from the experience of the Plummer Permanency Model. Thanks to Lauren’s trailblazing work, the Practice Leadership team is transforming child welfare practice by helping organizations to prioritize finding and nurturing family relationships for young people throughout the United States.