According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses make up 99.9% of all U.S. businesses. What’s more, Utah has been credited as the most pro-small business state in America, thanks to our state’s pro-business initiatives and support systems. Each month, the Salt Lake Chamber will highlight a small business in Utah to emphasize its importance in our economy and encourage local support. 

Small businesses play many important roles in our society. They encourage culture and engagement opportunities, create unique shopping and dining experiences and provide essential community services. In the case of Brighter Futures, Inc., small businesses can even provide children in the foster care system with what they need most: a family.

Kristina Worton, Brighter Futures’ CEO, explained that the organization’s mission is self explanatory. “It’s in the name,” she said. “We envision a world where every child in foster care has the opportunity to reach their full potential and create a brighter future.”

Brighter Futures offers a comprehensive range of programs and services to support foster children, host homes, people with disabilities and foster parents. Their services include after school programs, training for potential foster families, crisis intervention and therapy. In other words, they uplift children and families in need, however they can.

“We strive to ensure that every child in our care has access to stable and nurturing foster families,” Worton said. “Families that can provide them with the support they need to thrive.”

The organization was founded by Kristina’s father, Charles Hosea, who realized his passion for supporting children in need after his parents took in three foster children when he was still young. Those foster children are now grown up, married and have families of their own — all because Charles’s parents were willing to provide them with the love and care they needed.

Founder Charles Hosea, third from left

“That experience of having brothers and sisters that didn’t come from a typical family unit really opened his eyes to how we can help individuals like them,” Worton explained. “That’s where his passion started, and it just continued to grow and flourish over the years. Now, I’m hopeful to continue what he started.”

Of course, for Worton, leading a small business isn’t just about entrepreneurship; it’s about making a direct impact. One key aspect that sets Brighter Futures apart is its focus on supporting not just the foster children but also the caregivers and professionals within the system. Recognizing the demands and potential burnout in the social work industry, the organization prioritizes supporting its team members to ensure sustained quality care for the most vulnerable. 

“We truly believe in being able to give the families that help our families the support they need to become stable,” Worton explained. “If their needs are being met at a basic level, in terms of relationships, family members or whatever else, then they can meet the needs of the children we serve.”

Therapists and family consultants also enjoy flexible schedules and work arrangements, emphasizing self-care alongside their crucial roles in supporting others. That flexibility then extends to the foster children and their families, allowing for personalized, attentive care.

“I’m a big creator and ideator, and I think that small businesses really give us the flexibility we need to be able to do that,” Worton said. “It’s good for the community, too, because people want to participate in an organization that has that flexibility to create, to invent, to take on innovative practices. Those are the things that will help us make a big personal impact on children’s lives.”

Community involvement is especially important to Worton, as she is constantly working to create relationships that benefit the children she serves. That’s where the Salt Lake Chamber has come into play — her involvement and participation in Chamber events and leadership often spur new ideas and new connections.

“The Chamber has been really helpful in allowing us to collaborate with other organizations and create partnerships that align with our vision and mission. It’s a big learning hub and a wonderful place to create relationships,” said Worton.

Brighter Futures, Inc. is more than just a foster care agency – they’re a community of dedicated individuals who are passionate about making a difference. Their team consists of experienced professionals, compassionate foster parents, and caring volunteers who work together to ensure that every child receives the love, care, and opportunities they deserve. Click here to support their small business.