Darlene Bell joined the Quality Parenting Initiative team in September 2020 as a founding member of the Community Voice Advocacy Coordinator (CVAC) team. Driven by a desire to ‘stand in the gap’ for children when their biological parents need support, Darlene and her husband Curtis have been fostering in Minnesota for 30 years. Darlene joined the QPI movement in 2017 when she served on the core planning team to launch QPI in Minnesota. She has worked in the nonprofit field for over 30 years, with particular expertise in engaging communities of color and valuing cultural influences in the Twin Cities area. In addition to the Youth Law Center, Darlene has also worked with the Children’s Alliance Trust Fund, Casey Family Programs’ 21st Century Child Welfare System, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), and the Birth and Foster Parent Partnership (BFPP).
Darlene and her husband Curtis, high school sweethearts who have been married for 36 years, have fostered more than 30 children and adopted five children since they began fostering 30 years ago. They have six children and 18 grandchildren.
You can read more about Darlene’s work with QPI Minnesota in the Minneapolis Star Tribune: All about family: Movement to reform foster care takes root in Minnesota