Johns Hopkins Employee Named Foster Parent of the Year

The Hauses go above and beyond to include birth families in everything they do.

Foster Parent of the Year
Published in Community Health - Community Health Stories

Christina Hause, an administrative specialist for the Office of Johns Hopkins Physicians, and her husband, Brett, were recently named Baltimore County Department of Social Services Resource Parents of the Year. The Hauses, who have fostered three children in the past four years, were nominated because a birth parent expressed appreciation for the love and compassion that their child receives. They received a certificate and celebrated with other foster families on a Spirit of Baltimore lunch cruise.

“The Hauses are great communicators,” says Stephanie Grace, a placement resource social worker with the Baltimore County Department of Social Services. “They involve the social workers in day-to-day life with the kids. They are so flexible and easy to work with. The Hauses go above and beyond to include birth families in everything they do.”

Grace says whenever a child needs placement outside of their family of origin, and social services cannot find another family member, the department finds a home for the child with foster parents. The department tries to find the best match for the child by considering the school district and geographical area, she adds.

“Fostering allows birth parents the opportunity to get any help or assistance they need while keeping children in a loving family environment until birth parents can take care of their children again,” Grace explained.

The Hauses were assigned to Grace after they completed a home study. Grace visits with the family quarterly, and is available if they need support.

“The Hauses are amazing!” says Grace. “They strive to get to know the birth families and form relationships, which is very important because, often, those relationships can lend to helping that family reunify. They are a gift to our agency and the children of Baltimore County.”

Foster Parent of the Year

Christina Hause, who has worked at Johns Hopkins Medicine for 13 years, says she and her husband wanted a family, so they adopted their first daughter. They then decided to foster to help other children and, possibly, have another child join their family forever.

“Fostering is rewarding, but it is also hard work. It can be emotional,” Hause says.

For example, Hause was contacted when a child born at The Johns Hopkins Hospital needed a foster home. Hause says she started visiting the child in the hospital to form a bond before the placement. After four weeks in the hospital, the child was placed in their home.

“The children become part of your family,” Hause says. “They call you mommy and daddy. We try to stay in contact with the birth parents so they know we will care for the child and treat them like our own. Fostering makes you appreciate what you have and what you can offer to others.”

One birth mother continues to reach out to the Hauses post-reunification. The Hause family has the child over for Halloween, Easter egg hunts and birthday parties.

Hause’s sister, Laura Ihle, also works at Johns Hopkins Medicine. She is an administrative manager in the oncology department.

“The first time Chrissy got a call from the department, she was absolutely ecstatic!” Ihle says. “She’s always willing to do whatever she can to help. Fostering is a true passion for my sister, and I give her a ton of credit for doing this. We are all fortunate to meet these children.”

Hause’s supervisor, Melissa Helicke, is the chief operating officer for the Office of Johns Hopkins Physicians. She says she sees Hause’s fostering talents come through in her work at Johns Hopkins.

“I think she brings that generosity to her work,” Helicke says. “She tries to help others manage their balance of work and what’s important to them in their personal lives. She sets an example, and helps others be flexible to do both.”

Helicke says Hause’s fostering work aligns with Johns Hopkins Medicine’s mission to improve the health of the community and the world.

“Chrissy’s doing it through fostering. It brings her great joy, and she is remarkably committed to these children.”

For more information about fostering, visit