Foster Parent Coordinators support Foster Parents who have Family Care Agreements with the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) in the Okanagan, Similkameen, and Shuswap.


Your Foster Parent Coordinator Provides:

  • training and support

  • newsletters & email notices

  • information on MCFD policy

  • a library of resource materials

  • OFPA web site

We also provide help if you are:

  • experiencing difficult foster care situations or

  • going through the complaints / investigation process

Your Foster Parent Coordinator works with your local Foster Parents Association to make sure you have lots of opportunities to meet other Foster Parents.

We help MCFD with recruitment and act as liaison between them and their Foster Parents.


Noelle Typusiak

North Okanagan

Noelle supports Foster Caregivers who contract with the MCFD office in Vernon and live in the communities of  Vernon, Armstrong, Cherryville, Coldstream, Falkland, Lavington and Lumby.


Noelle has a passion for working with children in care and supporting the people who bring them into their hearts and homes. Her family fostered for many years and she also brings experience as a Psychiatric Nurse, a Child Care Worker, a Special Education Assistant and a HomeShare provider. 

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Cyndee Sapiano

Central Okanagan

Cyndee provides support services to Foster Parents who contract with MCFD in the Central Okanagan. This includes Foster Parents who live in and around the communities of Kelowna, Lake Country, Peachland, and West Kelowna.

Cyndee joined OFPA in August 2017. She has a a profound passion for children, youth and families and has spent the last 25+ years working within this field in a variety of capacities including fostering. Cyndee has a personal interest in childhood abuse and trauma, attachment, mental health, intellectual and learning disabilities. Although she has a diploma in Early Childhood Education, and a degree in Child and Youth Care, she believes it’s her life experiences (the good, bad, and ugly) that define her and make her a perfect fit for this position.


Leann Manuel

South Okanagan

Caregivers who contract with MCFD offices in Penticton, Osoyoos or Princeton access support services from Leann. This includes foster parents who live in and around the communities of Kaleden, Keremeos, Naramata, Okanagan Falls, Oliver, Osoyoos, Penticton, Princeton, Summerland, and Tulameen.

While Leann returned from maternity leave in April 2019 after being away for several months, she has been a coordinator with the Okanagan Foster Parent Association since 2015. Leann has worked in the social services field since her early twenties when she completed education and training in social work and psychology.  She has worked for group homes, community advocacy groups, and many similar non-profit community based services.  Leann is also a professional horseman and has spent many years teaching riding lessons and offering therapeutic riding services to children in her region.

Leann has a passion for community and fostering healing environments for those who face barriers and traumas along the way.  Her perspective is quite down to earth and she values equitable access and 'keeping it simple' wherever possible.  Basically, if you're part of her herd, she'll work hard to look out for you and support you  she can.

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Heather Lessard


Heather provides support services to Foster Caregivers who contract with the MCFD office in Salmon Arm. This includes Foster Caregivers who live in and around Sicamous, Salmon Arm, Sorrento, Armstrong and Enderby.


Heather and her husband live in the Shuswap area and have two adult children. Heather joined OFPA in 2019 and has expansive experience working with young children, children with diverse needs, and specializes in early development and behavioural psychology. Heather is dedicated to supporting foster families in the Shuswap and has spent the past 12+ years promoting healthy family dynamics to promote inclusivity and strong family foundations, while honouring the diversity of all members of her community.


Joan Kirkbride

Executive Director

As Executive Director Joan is responsible for the successful leadership and management of OFPA. She supported Foster Parents in the Central Okanagan, as their Foster Parent Coordinator, from 1993 to 2014. Joan has a well-established relationship with caregivers and MCFD, as well as experience working with parent groups, managing programs, developing training and providing support.