Lutheran Services Carolinas (LSC) is excited to announce that Crystal Cooley has been named recruitment manager for its North Carolina foster care team.
The statewide recruitment program was created through LSC’s ongoing Be The Light campaign to strengthen LSC’s ability to find loving foster families who will provide safe homes and compassionate care to the rising number of children entering North Carolina’s foster care system.
“I am happy to have Crystal on our management team. Selecting her to fulfill this role was a no brainer. It is naturally a great fit given her expertise, her passion, and drive to meet the needs of children in our communities through building capacity for foster homes,” Nakia Batts, LSC North Carolina executive director of children’s services, said. “I am excited to witness the impact of the NC Recruitment team under her leadership.”
Cooley began her career with LSC in September 2017 as a case manager and was then promoted to family recruiter. She has a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and 16 years of experience working in the mental health field.
She is also a foster parent herself. Since becoming a foster parent in 2016, Cooley has fostered 23 children including Intensive Alternative Family Treatment (IAFT) and respite.
She first became familiar with foster care when she worked as a guardian ad litem intern in Robeson County, North Carolina. A guardian ad litem is an impartial person the court appoints to act as a representative for the minor children in a contested custody proceeding.
After relocating to Raleigh, Cooley became a substance abuse prevention specialist and worked with students across four counties.
She also began working at the Boys and Girls Club and realized there was a high population of foster children. So, she became a foster parent with another agency and began working with LSC.
When the position for recruitment team manager became available, Cooley said she was hesitant to apply. But then she prayed about it.
“God spoke to me and told me he would equip me with everything I needed to walk in the new role,” she said. “My supervisors were very supportive and encouraging. I wanted to have that growth and development. They believed in me, and I believe in myself.”
In her new role, Cooley supports a team of six recruiters located in Hickory, Wilmington, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, and Fayetteville.
“I’m looking forward to helping alleviate the crisis around children not being able to find stable placement through foster care,” Cooley said. “Our team is hitting the ground running and recruiting more parents to open up more homes for these children.”