Profound Responsibility

November 13th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

umbrella kids vintage image -graphicsfairy004aThis week we will finish our final steps in licensing renewal:¬† We'll have our fire inspection and we'll take our SIDS/Shaken Baby training for this year.¬† The fire inspection should go fine;¬† my only concern is that I realize we've not had a fire drill in ages.¬† Maybe¬† after nap time today! The SIDS/Shaken Baby is most on my mind since it comes up on Tuesday.¬† My older daughter (15) said, "Why do they make you take that training every year?" My answer was straightforward, "So you never, ever forget." It is helpful to take the training.¬† It's not that I am in danger of forgetting myself and shaking a baby.¬† It's that taking these trainings and seeing the terrible pain… [more]

It Gives Me Chills

September 14th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

1361792_girl_1There are so many kids that are waiting in foster care. Most of them are good kids that are just looking for a chance to grow, learn and live a good life. Yet, there is nothing that can be done to change many of their situations. Their lives have been disrupted. They are often unstable. This is where a foster parent can make all of the difference. When a child's needs become the focus of somebody in their lives- they have a better chance of making decisions that reflect it. The expectation that children will be able to redirect themselves and make proper decisions without a positive adult in their circle is not fair. Without the proper training and encouragement, wisdom is not… [more]

Foster Care Redesign

September 14th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

Thanks to Senate Bill 218, signed into law last June, foster care in Texas is undergoing some needed changes. While these changes may make life different for those of us who provide foster care, I think they will vastly improve the experience of the children in state care.¬† Perhaps the positive outcomes of these changes will encourage other states to follow suit. As recently as 2008, 60% of the foster kids in Texas were placed outside their home county.¬† If you don't happen to be from Texas, you may not realize counties in Texas are big! Sometimes that meant children were placed hundreds of miles from home and their support systems.¬† The program called Foster Care Redesign addresses that issue and many others.¬† If you are interested in the complete plan… [more]

Is Foster Care for You?

July 7th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

1319861_children_crossingOne of the hardest parts of becoming a foster parent for my family was meeting the regulations that are in place. Living on a farm that is full of animals and¬†heavy machinery made it difficult for us to adapt our lives in the necessary areas. As avid outdoors sports people, having to store our archery equipment in different locations under lock and key took some time to get used to. Our lives had to change to make fostering possible for our family. Some of the adjustments went practically unnoticed, others were felt everyday. When we were taking our training courses for foster care, we found that we were completely unprepared for the upcoming changes. We had no clue. Yet, we plunged ahead into… [more]

Sane Licensing and Renewal

June 6th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

check_listIt's time for license renewal and all the assorted inspections, certifications and paperwork.  When we were licensed, all these little things seemed so daunting but be assured, it does get easier.  Here are my top five ways to stay sane while checking off the things I need to do:

  1. Use my calendar. Things that occur monthly, quarterly or annually are set to "repeat" on my calendar.  For example, each month I must submit a medication report; once a year I need to provide our driver's licenses and car insurance.  By setting these things a few days or weeks before they're due, I take the stress out of it.
  2. Remember my two cardinal rules: First,  each item is  easier than it sounds; Secondly, each thing

Will New Foster Care Licensing Rules Lose More Foster Homes

July 16th, 2008

Rules intended to protect children in foster care may drive away foster homes. I understand the logic behind the new rules. Various states have taken a beating for not protecting the children in their care. Children in foster care homes have died or been abused and the public is outraged. The public should be outraged; I am not minimizing the consequences. However, you don‚Äôt see the outraged public stepping up to take foster children into their homes. That is the problem; there are too few foster homes for the children who need them. Most of these outraged citizens wouldn‚Äôt consider letting a 10-year-old fire-starter stay even one night in their homes. Nor would they want a sexually active teenager sleeping under their roof. Who does that… [more]

Is My House Too Clean, Too Dirty, Too Cluttered to Foster

July 12th, 2008

When people who do not regularly come over, are coming to your home it can make you feel apprehensive about what they will think. Especially when they show up unannounced and your house looks like a tornado just went through. If you have children, people should expect to see toys on the floor. They also expect to see that the house is lived in and the inhabitants have fun. An experienced social worker would probably be suspicious to find your home immaculate if young children live in it already. It can make you seem fake, and may cause the social worker to wonder what else you are faking or hiding. Do not misunderstand me, I am not suggesting that you leave or make your house filthy… [more]

A Foster Home Placed Inactive

October 28th, 2007
Posted By: on Foster Care
Categories: Licensing

From time to time a foster home may be placed inactive or on hold. This means that for a period of time that the foster home is not open to new foster placements. This does not mean that if you have foster children already living in your home that they will be moved. Any time foster families can choose to place their home on hold just to allow themselves to take a break from fostering. The truth is that we all need breaks from time to time so this is not a bad thing. One thing you may want to check on before placing your home on hold is how this affects your status and what you will need to do to start fostering again… [more]

How to get licensed as a foster parent

April 9th, 2007
Posted By: on Foster Care
Categories: Basics, Licensing

There are children of all ages in the foster care system who need temporary or permanent homes. Some of these children have special emotional or medical needs; some are sibling groups; others need a safe and loving home. In order to become a foster parent and welcome foster children into your home, you must be licensed. Steps: 1. Determine if fostering is right for you. Evaluate your situation. Talk with other foster families and educate yourself about the various types of foster parenting. 2. Call your local Department of Health and Human Services (see resource below) for information on licensing. Note: In some counties, private agencies handle all foster placements. If you are in one of these counties, refer to the "How to" on choosing an agency. 3. Complete… [more]

The Final Step

January 7th, 2007
Posted By: on Foster Care
Categories: Basics, Licensing

Licensing You made it!!! You will go sign paperwork, receive your book of minimal standards and make choice of gender, age, race, and how many. At this time you can state what you would and would not like to deal with. The only thing we did not feel comfortable with, was sexual abuse or sexual acting out, this was because we had a young daughter we did not want exposed to this. Understand this does not mean this will not happen, the abuse maybe unknown until placed with you. I had two children placed with us that had been sexually abused but it was not known until they were with us. Every case and child will be different and react differently. The little girl (2 years old)… [more]