SANFP E15: Tara Beck & Grace Stocksdale; Local Support for Tucson Foster Families

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Have you ever considered Foster care for your family?
Do you know of the work that “More Than a Bed” does?
In this episode, Barbara talks with Tara Beck from La Paloma Foster Care and
Grace Stocksdale the Director of More Than a Bed and has them share their cause
and great work within the community.

About Tara Beck

Tara Beck attended college at Northern Arizona University for both her degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work, which she sought after beginning to work with foster families and children in foster care more than a decade ago. A focus was taken during her studies at NAU on the effects of trauma and how it impacts the developing child in efforts to help families better support children in their care.

Tara began working with foster families in the community which led to her becoming a foster parent herself. After finishing her Master’s Degree in Social Work, she began working as a clinician for La Frontera Arizona and is now the Foster Care Supervisor at La Frontera’s La Paloma Family Services, which is a licensing agency for foster and/or adoptive families in Pima County. Her experiences working with families and children involved with the child welfare system, combined with her knowledge of trauma and how it affects development, helped lead to better supporting families who are supporting children in care.

Since 1980, La Paloma Family Services has continually strived to provide solutions for children facing life’s greatest challenges due to abuse, neglect, and abandonment. It is our long history of service that has established La Paloma as one of the leading non-profit family service agencies in Southern Arizona. La Paloma and La Frontera Centers collaborate to provide services to children and families in Pima County. We encourage continued education about the foster care system and provide direct services to kinship, foster care, and therapeutic foster care families, as well as families wanting to adopt. La Paloma recruits, trains, and facilitates the initial licensure process for aspiring foster parents, and we continue to offer support as our families learn to navigate the child welfare system.

Company / Organization Website URL:

About Grace Stocksdale

Born and raised in Ohio, moved to Tucson in ’62- ‘69, attended UofA majoring in education, moved to NY City in ’69 where I was employed with British Airways, and then moved into Wall Street recruiting.

Returned to Tucson in 2007 to care for my 87-year-old mother who just turned 101.

I Became aware of the foster care crises while heading up a group of volunteers at my church. I started talking to the foster families at my church to try and find a way to help in some way.

I and 2 families began discussions and More Than a Bed was conceived. After 1.5 years, the time needed to build MTaB became too much for the foster families who had 4-10 children each. Through continuous conversations with the families and teens in foster care, my knowledge and education grew. I began talking to various DCS caseworkers to try and understand the procedures.

I did not personally experience being a foster parent, nor did I plan this journey that I am currently on. The stories and experiences of the children broke and continues to break my heart. When I look into these children’s beautiful faces, I want to make sure that they are finally valued and safe and can see a future.

The first 3years we worked out of 9 storage units located at Ina and I-10. Then someone heard us on a radio show similar to this telling the audience that we needed a building so that we could offer much more to our foster families.

Six months later, we moved into our current warehouse which was donated and built by an anonymous donor especially for More Than a Bed to serve the children. We have now been in the warehouse almost 4 years and are bursting at the seams.

Address: 3637 North 1st Avenue, Tucson, Arizona 85705
Phones: (520) 428-5280
Personal Cell to reach me directly: 917-612-1915

About the Host

Barbara McClure, Executive Director  
IMPACT of Southern Arizona 
3535 E Hawser Street 
TucsonAZ  85739                                                    
Phone: 520-825-0009

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Barbara McClure wakes up each morning passionate about going to work at a place that improves lives and inspires futures every day! She has been the Executive Director of a Tucson social service nonprofit called IMPACT of Southern Arizona, for ten years. What is it that keeps you passionate about your role Barbara? 

Barbara has been a visionary and planner with decades of experience as a small business owner and in nonprofit leadership; her innovative ideas and strategic thinking, along with a talent for bringing the community together, has helped grow IMPACT five-fold in a very short time. Her talents and interests are diverse but all center around helping people, improving the community, bolstering education, building capacity and sustainability, being vocal about the rights and conditions of others, experiencing art, nurturing all inhabitants of your garden, and enjoying life to the fullest. 

And now Barbara is about to experience another exciting chapter in her life with hosting a brand-new Radio Show Podcast here on the Tucson Business RadioX Network starting in November. 

IMPACT of Southern Arizona is a 20 – year old social service nonprofit stabilizing families and seniors, and moving people out of poverty. IMPACT’s programs are designed to stretch household budgets so earned income can be spent on necessities such as improved housing conditions, fuel to get to work, utilizes, and needed medical attention and prescriptions Its clients are your neighbors! People come to IMPACT because it is a welcoming place where they are always treated with dignity and respect, and where they find resources, referrals, coaching, and help to attain the skills that can move them forward into self-sufficiency. 

Barbara grew up in Pasadena CA, moved to Long Beach for college, got married and started our family then moved to Seattle area ten years later. Took our youngest son on an 11-month motorhome trip to get to Tucson – Homeschooled for 10th grade. 

We vacationed at a rustic cabin when I was growing up, where we had no phone or television; and spent all our time outside fishing, hiking, horseback riding, listening to old radio shows, playing pool, reading comic books from the local small grocer, and using our imaginations all day long. I always admired the superheroes who defended people and cities like Gotham and Metropolis, so when our three boys were born, we named them after familiar character: Colin (Bryce for an overlay of Bruce Wayne, Kent, and Parker. Our first grandchild was born last year, and as in the family tradition, named Logan, after the Wolverine. I used to always tell them they were my superheroes – and they still are today! 

Barbara loves working with numbers and has always loved math and the organization of things, so accounting seemed perfect, but I soon realized that I if I became a CPA I would have to spend many months inside doing tax returns, and that did not appeal to me as a longterm career! I have a great imagination and enjoy creating things, so thought I should find a better path that might nurture that side of my personality. I was working in the shipping industry in SoCal at the time and fell in love with import and export, so shifted my majors to Marketing and International Business. Those were wonderful fits, and I imagined graduating and moving to the largest port on the planet, in Germany; then, I met my future husband and things took a different turn. 

A little bit about how Barbara got into Nonprofit work: 

All along with my husband and I were always involved in nonprofits and community volunteer opportunities, and often said it was too bad we could not make a living doing those things we loved so much. Leadership roles in PTO, Boy Scouts, Historical Societies, Junior League, Elks, Rotary and more. Then when we moved to Tucson I looked for a local opportunity to impact my community. A Board position was about to open at IMPACT, and my local bank branch manager, Peggy Smoot, suggested I would be very passionate about getting involved in the mission work there. I worked in the Food Bank. 

There are thousands of nonprofits in Tucson. What makes IMPACT Unique is that they bring the community together to stabilize families and move people out of poverty. Our true success lies in partnering with a large number of businesses, agencies, social clubs and other nonprofits. We invest $2.5 million in the community each year, and we do it all with a lean staff of amazing professionals supported by more than 170 volunteer shifts each week! We have put great systems in place to run efficiently, effectively and with a commitment to sustainability and integrity, protecting the community’s investment in our work, striving for perfect audits, being innovative, building capacity and most importantly – treating everyone with dignity and respect. We are an award-winning nonprofit with numerous nods to incredible customer service. Our clients are your neighbors… We improve lives and inspire futures of people living in Southern AZ.  

So, IMPACT is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and you have been at the helm half that time. Share with me the things IMPACT has accomplished over the years, and the things you have planned for this celebratory year. 

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