Forever Families

October 13th, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Care

1389105_happy_familyOne of the coolest things about the month of November is that it is National Adoption Month. I love that there is a whole month dedicated to the children who have been adopted, the parents that have adopted and the children who are waiting to be adopted. Adopted, adopted, adopted. I love to throw that word around. And this November that is exactly what we all should be doing. There is no better way to let people know about the need prevalent in foster care than to tell about your own experience with fostering and adoption. There is a lot of fear around these two actions. It is not unfounded. Adoption from foster care brings many unknowns into a home. Yet, there are… [more]

A Home Filled with Love and Laughter

October 6th, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Care

617844_never_grow_upAs I sit here thinking this morning, I cannot help but bring focus on the huge need for foster parents today. There are so many children in need of solid, stable homes and so few prepared to stand in this gap. It takes a lot of dedication, sacrifice and strength to place yourself in a situation that will be trying. If you know that it will be difficult going into it, healthy fear sets in. I use the word healthy before fear because it is accurate. There is not service to be found in walking into a foster care situation without the ability to handle it. An honest look at fostering, from someone who has done it, will show that their are daily… [more]

Respect and Research

June 21st, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Care

258822_nephew_sepiaOne of the hardest things to decide in life is whether to foster a child. It is such a difficult decision because of the huge change it makes on the existing family dynamic. The family relationship is such a precious thing and so very fragile. When children are added to that- things change. These changes are not always good. The children that are coming into your home often have baggage that follows. This coupled with the other children (and your own) baggage can make for hard times. I believe that some of these hard times can be avoided. In order to successfully maneuver fostering a healthy dose of reality must exist. The reality is that you (as a parent) are not going to… [more]

Courage and a Willing Heart

August 14th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

1319861_children_crossingThere is a certain distinguishing fact about foster care parents that sets them apart from other parents. There is a compassion that runs deeply in their lives and hearts that cannot be quieted. They are courageous. They are willing. I am a people watcher. One of my favorite 'studies' are the foster care parents that walk in my circle. They are the ones that can be seen walking through the local grocery store pushing a cart full of children and pulling another cart heaping with groceries. At the risk of being obnoxious, I chose to observe them. I like to see them in action if you will. Something amazing occurs when a person's heart is stirred by foster care. They no longer care… [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]

Reading and Puddin’ Update

June 13th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

I heard from Puddin's new mommy this week.  It was so gratifying to hear how they are doing.  They are getting used to each other and Puddin' is mothers day vintage graphic--graphicsfairy010starting to realize they are hers;  she has been introducing them to people they meet in the park.   She is making some friends in the neighborhood now.  Her grief sessions are fewer and farther between, and everyone is getting used to their new role in the family. My kids still talk about her regularly.  I am hopeful they will all get to see each other again some day.  When we sing our lullabies at night, there is a place where I substitute my children's names for the word "baby" and the… [more]

Group Homes and Other Craziness

May 1st, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

mothers day vintage graphic--graphicsfairy010I almost threw a rock at my television the other day.  A television actress was bragging to Ellen or someone about a group home she started in her home town in Mississippi.  She said she started the home to "fix the broken foster care system."  Seriously??? There is so much that people do not understand about Foster Care.  They have the impression that (a) siblings are always separated, (b) that kids go to foster care and never get out, and (c) that all foster homes are negligent, dirty and uncaring.  By the way, this is the point of view that the actress was putting forth. By contrast, my experience with foster parents is completely the opposite.   Maybe things are different… [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]

Long Term Permanency Plan for Foster Child

May 26th, 2008

Do you need to know the long term permanency plan for a foster child in order to accept placement into your home? If you do, it will limit the number of placements you receive as a foster parent. The long term plan is not typically known for at least a month when children first come into foster care. Even then, the plan can change. The caseworker never knows when a suitable relative might come forward asking for the children. While the caseworker might have doubts about certain parents complying with the case plan to have their children returned, sometimes parents surprise everyone. A case may look like it is going to termination for an entire year and suddenly turn around. Many parents, when they hear the… [more]

Foster Care Caseworker Goals for Reunification

May 7th, 2008

Usually a foster care caseworker is assigned to a new case within two to four weeks of a child or children entering the foster care system. Siblings entering foster care would normally have the same foster care caseworker. By the time a caseworker is assigned to the case, the children have already been in a foster care home for two to four weeks. Hopefully, it is the same home that child protective services (CPS) placed them in the day they were removed, but it isn’t always. Since the children are settling into their new home, the worker doesn’t usually move the children to a different placement. That is unless, the foster home request that the children be moved, a suitable relative is located for placement, or… [more]