There 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]
It'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:
- 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.
- Remember my two cardinal rules: First, each item is easier than it sounds; Secondly, each thing
The visits your foster child has with their birth family after their removal can stir up emotions that a child simply can’t understand and can’t process. Last year, our family had a bright and beautiful 2-year-old little girl join our family for 3 months. Her attachment issues were severe with extreme clinginess, incessant whining, night terrors, and an aversion to men. The weekly visits with her birth family caused her behaviors to intensify and disrupt our entire family. We found that by transitioning the child from her birth family to her foster family after each visit seemed to help calm her and help her feel more secure. Request visit times that will allow your foster child to process feelings before… [more]
“Is it worth it?” she asks. Sleepless nights, endless to do list, judgment from people who have no right, Loss of time with friends, husband, children…self. Lack of money as you add another to the table and in line at the amusement park. “Tell me please, I have only just begun. Is it worth all this? Do you help anyone?” The question weighs on me “Sure it is,” is what I want to quickly reply. You are helping a loss soul, a child who has no one. The need for parents like you is immense. The answer stills on my tongue as I pause to respond. Looking back over the years I had to consider, is it really worth it? Interacting with parents who rarely appreciate your commitment to their child. The idea that… [more]
When meeting your foster child for the first time, it can be nerve-wracking for both of you. But with just a little preparation, you can ease the tension and make him or her feel comfortable in his or her new home. Here are some helpful tips to make sure you and your home are ready for your new addition.
- Personal Space: Your foster child will feel out-of-sorts for the first little while. That is why it is important to provide a clean, personal space for the child. Make sure you've cleaned out drawers and closet space, as well as tidying up the room and making the bed. This shows that you want him or her to feel comfortable and welcome into your home.
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’t 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’t 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]
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]
Children have been removed from their parents’ home by child protective services. The children have been placed either in a licensed foster home or with an approved relative for temporary care. Unless the children were removed for extreme reasons, the original permanency goal of foster care is usually reunification with the birth family. Within a couple of weeks after the children are removed, the parents will meet with the foster care worker who has been newly assigned to their case. The foster care worker will review the reasons that the children were removed from the home and discuss it with the parents. Based on the reasons the children were removed, the worker will establish a plan for the parents to follow so the children can be… [more]
This is where the foster children’s future will be talked about and how they are coping. The meeting should take place every six months to discuss the progress, or lack of it. This meeting should take place at child welfare offices with the biological and foster parents both being invited along with child welfare staff (can also include CASA worker, other persons representing the foster children, lawyers for biological parents, or biological family members). Sometimes the foster parents are given less than 24 hours notice which can make things difficult. Check to see if you can participate by telephone which I have done. I have also had my caseworker from the private agency I foster for to sit… [more]