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About Us

Who We Are

Terra Manor, Inc. d.b.a. Hugs Foster Family is a private non-profit organization dedicated to helping children by training loving and qualified people to become exceptional foster parents.  We began in 1997 as a small bud dedicated group of foster parents who were asked to start a residential treatment facility for girls with attachment disorders.  Recognizing the need for safe, secure and loving homes for all children, HUGS Foster Family Agency was established in 2003.  We also train families to care for children with medical and developmental disabilities.  

What We Do

What we do is simple.  We help brings loving and caring families together with children who need them.  We help to train families and individuals on what to expect in the foster care system.  We keep our families informed of upcoming changes in regulations and support them 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.  We help ensure that all of our families and children are supported so that healing and positive growth can follow a difficult time in a child’s life.

Victor Cruz
Chief Executive Officer

For many years, Victor served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Through that experience, he discovered his calling was to protect and care for others. When he learned about Terra Manor’s mission, something inside him said, “This is where you belong.” It may sound odd to compare his career as a Marine to his job at Terra Manor, but there are many similarities. Like a Marine, his basic duty now is to make things safe for others, at all times. Through care, service and commitment, both roles also carry the responsibility of taking care of others’ needs first. Victor has an Associate’s Degree in Business Management, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and his Master’s in Business Administration. Victor enjoys Camping with his wife and kids as this gives him the opportunity to build memories with family.

Email:  vcruz@hugsffa.org

Laura

Laura Brummund
Administrator

Laura Brumund is passionate about her work with children and families.  She has 5 years of experience as a state preschool teacher.  Working closely with families encouraged her to pursue her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology.  Laura is also certified to do school counseling and has worked with at-risk youth in the schools.  Laura has experience in counseling and social work for over 5 years.  Laura loves working at the HUGS Foster Family Agency and loves helping others to have hope as they cope with challenges in their lives.  Laura is excited for what the future of the HUGS Foster Agency will bring as we grow to serve more children and make a difference in people’s lives.

bernadette

Bernadette Sanda
Financial Controller

Bernadette Sanda joined HUGS Foster Family Agency early 2016.  She is the Financial Controller for the organization.  She has worked in the accounting field for over 16 years.  Bernadette has provided accounting services for entities such as a Solar Company, Merchants Company and a high end Furniture Store.  When a new opportunity to begin working in a Foster Agency presented itself, she immediately took on the opportunity.  As she recognized the Agency’s mission, which is to provide services to protect nurture and support permanency for children, she fell in love with the Agency even more.  Bernadette has been with the agency for almost 2 years now and have established great relationships with the Foster Parents.  She strives to promote the well-being of children by being a great advocate for the Agency.  In addition, Bernadette’s primary responsibility is to continue to fulfill the agency’s mission and vision and work together with the employees to create a workplace of ethics, respect, and professionalism.

Marylou

Marylou Adriatico

Marylou Adriatico holds a Master’s in Social Welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)  and a Bachelor’s in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley (Cal). Prior to working with Hugs, Marylou served children and families as a Children’s Social Services Worker for Riverside County Child Protective Services. Marylou is passionate about working with children in foster care and ensuring that they are in safe, comfortable, and happy homes. Furthermore, Marylou’s professional interests include promoting educational equity for children in foster care, increasing their high school and college matriculation rates, and advocating for foster care awareness.

Keri

Keri Saldana

Keri Saldana has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from California State University, Long Beach and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton.  Through her career she worked as a case carrying social worker for the County of Orange, where she supervised court cases working on family reunification and family maintenance cases.  She also worked for the Consortium for Children mediating between birth parents and adoptive parents involved in the dependency system for over 12 years.  Keri loves working with children and families and wants to ensure that children grow up in safe, supportive and happy homes.

Nick Kumar

Growing up in the northeast part of India in Tripura with lush green vegetation and hills gave me a sense of appreciation for nature. My parents were both educators. My sister and I felt the intense desire to do well in school and excuses were crushed. My father taught Chemistry in a College and we lived in College Quarters along with other professors and their families. Across our flat, the Howrah river flowed with gusto whenever there was torrential rain. The monsoon season created havoc amongst the villagers who lived close to the river. We had a radio that was in my parent’s bedroom. I would look at amazement at the radio and wait for the man to get out of the box but that never happened. Along with my childhood curiosity and hot summer days, life seemed content

Education being a priority, we were enrolled in Holy Cross School, an English medium Catholic school with strict discipline and the nuns monitored us with close attention. My childhood comprised of studying, playing and reading books. I had a lot of friends who lived close and we played cricket, table tennis and occasionally soccer. It was a golden era for me. My mother taught Bengali at an All Girls High school and would bring home sweets which we devoured in a few minutes as we pillaged through her bag. My sister was five years younger than me and much quieter. Life in Agartala, my hometown, was small and most people knew each other. Then the war between India and Pakistan started around 1972 or so, and witnessed and heard bombings and air raid sirens that made us run to the bunkers which was a stairwell. School was out for almost three months. Nights were dark as of the war and only candles were being used. Our windows were covered so light could not escape. As with anything in life, the war finally ended. Our city, Agartala, is a border town and close to Bangladesh and so we witnessed the war first hand.

Growing up my father was the disciplinarian and when I got in trouble, I knew a thrashing was coming.  I could never do anything questionable without my father finding out. My father wanted me to join the Indian Army School for Officers which is now known as Rashtriya India Military College which was renamed from Royal Indian Military College after the English left. I was in the seventh grade and I had to move to another city of India, Dehradun and live in the dorms with nineteen other students. After a lengthy process of tests and physical endurance tests and written exams, I was selected from my state and off I went to another world of discipline and physical exhaustion. I stayed at the academy for six months and then my parents visited me. My mother was appalled to see me skinny and malnourished which I was not. After convincing my father and crushing his dreams, I returned home to Agartala.

I was admitted to Central High School since Holy Cross did not have any vacancy. The new school environment was lackadaisical and students were a bit wild. Having been in a disciplined and strict setting, this was on the other side of the spectrum. My parents migrated to the USA when I was in the eleventh grade and then I followed finishing High School. My sister had left a year before me for the States. I eventually arrived at LAX in May 1983 and the second chapter of my life began.

Being in a new country with no friends was a hard thing to adjust. Within a few months, I found a job as an assembler in a furniture company in Torrance where we were renting an apartment. It was a small apartment as my parents were trying to settle into a new life. Initially my Aunt had sponsored my father and through chain migration, we arrived and tried to settle in this country of opportunities and freedom.

As we managed to live in our one-bedroom apartment with noisy neighbors, my job where I started making $3.35 an hour gave me a raise and moved me to another department where we made radio shack printer covers with fiberglass and molds. I made few friends with a group of Vietnamese employees. They were also new to the States but were kind and generous. I even learned to drive from one of my friends who showed me around and introduced to new people. I enjoyed learning to play pool, hang out at the coffee shops and have Pho. My father got me a Rabbit VW car which had big “Rabbit” written on it along with a picture of rabbit. I would often get teased driving my rabbit. Eventually, the company closed and I was laid off. I was also working at an AM/PM mini-market under a grumpy boss who would make me clean the bathrooms and other menial tasks and then one day my patience ran thin, and I quit.

I started attending El Camino College and got a job as a computer installer’s helper in Venice, California. We finally bought a condo in Carson and my father secured a better job. My major was also chosen by my father as Chemistry as he was a Chemistry major. No matter how much I argued and lost interest in College, he did not seem to notice and I got a job with the City of Los Angeles, met a girl and moved out.

I was finally away from my family and felt free. I was also living with a girl, who I had known for maybe six months. She was my guide into the American life and dream, which I was finally beginning to decipher and untangle.  We both enjoyed each other’s company and we were only 22 and 19 with a combined emotional age of maybe a ten-year-old and a thirteen-year-old. We had our moments where we struggled with our commitment. I was not ready to settle down and she felt she had to. Needless to say, the marriage lasted four years and we divorced.

I moved out and decided to go back to school while working which became hard as my emotions were frayed and divorce was becoming a bit of hard work. I kept working for few more years and then I started back school as my work started to feel meaningless and depressing. I knew I had to make a choice and I started school full time and I quit my job. During the time I was attending school, I worked with homeless population through City of Los Angeles in San Pedro, California. I really enjoyed interacting with them and learned a lot.

After I completed my schooling and landed my first job as a foster care social worker at International Foster care Agency in San Bernardino. I loved my job and the children I worked with. It was something I knew I enjoyed and thus started my chapter in foster care social work.

Now I am here at HUGS.

Diana Bristwo

Diana Bristow

Diana Bristow holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from California State University, San Bernardino, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology , also from California State University, San Bernardino.  Diana is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.  Diana worked for the County of San Bernardino as an emergency intake worker for 15 years, working closely with the Juvenile Court system, and in the area of adoptions also.  Prior to getting into the field of social work, Diana worked in the public school system as a substitute teacher.  Diana has always had a penchant for working with children of all ages, particularly those in need of protection.  Diana retired from the County in 2015, but it was not long before she missed working with children.  She then made the decision to return to the field of social work on a part time basis in 2017, and is now enjoying interacting with foster families and children as a case worker with Hugs FFA.