Thursday, November 25, 2010


There are many misconceptions one hears when discussing foster care. Some people have said they can’t handle teens. Some people think it is too invasive. Some people think it is the end of life as they know it. What do you think about foster care?

Have you heard the term “check-casher”? Do you think foster parents do it for the money? How do you feel when the foster system is portrayed negatively on your favorite Tv show?

Educate yourself. Call your local foster agency or the Dept of Children and Families for your state. Find someone knowledgeable and ask!

Are there BAD foster parents. Well, yes. Are there fabulous healthy homes for these abused children? Well, YES.

Here is a summary that I think changes a few misconceoptions.

As a prospective foster parent YOU can decide the age, race, gender, and levels of care of the children to be placed in your home. If you have small children, you can CHOOSE to have other similarly aged children in your home! Your biological children and foster children can share a room. As far as levels of care, you can increase to more specialized care such as medical foster care as you believe it is fitting for your family!

Is it invasive? Maybe, at times. There are social workers, and guardians, and therapists in and out of our home daily! But , we have 7 children. If you foster one, you will at least have monthly visits. Your childs social worker can help you with taking the child to dental appts and visits with biological parents.

There is Support for foster parents. You aren’t left out in the cold, with no resources.

Don’t assume, find answers to your questions!

Is the foster system flawless, by all means , NO.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Emphasize Forever

Last week a case manager(social worker) and I were chatting around the island in my kitchen. She is hoping to become a foster parent in the near future.

I love hearing that.

She asked me what was the number one thing to remember when raising teens. First of all, I have never raised a teen from birth. I have cared for and loved on three teen girls. Two, which presently live with me. I have a combined 12 months of parenting teens experience! That being said I understand why you might take what I have to say with a grain of salt.

I have learned so much in this short time. The one thing that stands out to me most is the essence of forever. Foster children have a very limited view of unconditional love. When the going gets tough they are moved. When they are labeled with ADHD, they are moved. When they run away, foster homes might not take them back. Knowing this, I have realized that talking in terms of the future and forever are vitally important.

“For your sixteenth birthday we should take a trip to the beach.”

“What do you want to do for Spring Break next year?”

“What kind of dress do you want to wear to your prom?”

Any comment that takes the child into YOUR future reinforces stability. Giving a child a foundation for trust makes it so much easier to build a relationship! Relationships include hundreds of factors, but without a forever foundation it is near impossible.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Foster parenting is a temporary solution to an ongoing problem. The problem is the abuse and neglect of sweet children across this country. I watch the news just like each and every one of you. I see movies. I know the general consensus of negativity towards foster homes. I am not naïve but I am trying my best to simply provide care for a child in need. Is it really that simple? Yes, for me it is.

The most recent information that I can find shows there are over 423,773 children in foster care. I find the most reliable information to be on the US dept. of Health and Human Services Website.

These children will be placed SOMEWHERE. If not in a healthy, happy, loving home then elsewhere, where only you can imagine. I have been blessed to reside in a residential facility as caregiver and am proud to say most caregivers try their best to provide a fabulous environment. Needless to say a group home is not a family. This topic is one for another day.

Each state has different laws and requirements for becoming a foster parent. It can be a long journey. The journey is worth it when you hold the tiny baby in your arms or take the teen to get her drivers license.

Imagine if you could take one child. What if 200,000 healthy families opened their homes this year? Helping to stop the cycle of abuse and neglect and allowing a place for healing to happen is a key part to foster parenting.

Who could you help heal? Could you help heal a family? Could you train a teen to be a productive citizen? Could you provide the nutrition that a child needs to be able to function and grow?

Thankfully, I am in a place here I get to see growth. Our home is not dead. Today, myself and my husband included, there are 9 people, learning, discovering and growing! Even if this is only a temporary haven for some, they have been shown how to love and how to live.