In Their Shoes

November 20th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

babyinbasket-clipart-graphicsfairy007When a child first comes to us, I talk  to the social worker about parental preferences; we talk about clothes, their hair and their skin care. When the Littles first came, they  let me know that we were allowed to cut the baby's hair short, but that their mother liked the oldest boy's curls.  The three kids had been in two separate homes and both the former foster moms pointed out to me which clothes their mother had purchased for them.  At the time, we had weekly visits.  I always put the kids in those clothes for the visits and did the little girl's hair the way her foster mom told me her mother liked it. This drove my friends and family crazy. I… [more]

Faithing Into the Birthmom Relationship

October 10th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

blogOur three "Littles" have a half sibling who is almost a year old.  He is in shared custody of his birthparents.  That baby is the main reason we have continued visits with their birth mother; we do know how important the sibling bond is, and we want to do what we can to facilitate that bond. Nonetheless, visits continue to be challenging.  Our September visit was postponed because 2 of our 3 little ones were sick and we didn't want to make the baby sick.  Two weeks later, birthmom was sick.  We rescheduled to last weekend and she no-showed. Last night I got a text from her sister.  She is in the hospital.  She has a serious health issue and has been there since… [more]

Quality of (Foster) Life

September 6th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

I've been doing some research on how foster care affects young children.  Like all of you, I am always trying to figure out what I can do to make life a little better for these sweethearts.  Here's what I'm pondering right now: A paper by Troutman, Ryan, and Cardi, titled "The Effects of Foster Care Placement on Young Children’s Mental Health" gave me some food for thought.   Though the reading is dry, it did remind me of the importance of providing loving care.  mothers day vintage graphic--graphicsfairy010 Foster care can be functional, or it can be parental.  By functional, I mean children are fed, clothed, bathed -- all their physical needs are met.  Parental foster care looks different;  these kids are treated like members… [more]

Learning What it Means to be Part of a Professional Team

August 24th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

A couple of years ago, we had a sweet little boy in our home.  I'll call him Ricky.  He was only 16 months old, and it was his first removal.  He had allegedly been harmed by his mother's boyfriend. He was my first CPS case, so when it was time to take him to his first family visit, I was nervous.  The waiting room was completely full of people there on other state business, but I quickly picked out his parents, awkwardly sitting together and talking quietly.  It was winter and I was worried about all the coughing in the room, so I took him to an isolated corner to wait until called. The spot I chose to wait happened to be close to the window where the CPS visit check in… [more]

Just Like the Other Kids

June 27th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

1207125_promiseA slight tremor runs down many people's spine when they hear the word teenager. This is true in foster care settings as well as other parts of society. So many times I have heard foster parents say, "I can take babies, toddlers and young children but no teens. They are too much trouble." There is often a lot of baggage that comes when a teenager is introduced to a family- baggage that  comes from years of abuse, mistreatment or indifference. It is difficult to think of bringing that into a home. The thought of the emotional upheaval can bring nauseous feelings to even the strongest person. Yet, there are thousands of teenagers waiting in foster care. Some of them do have baggage, others just hold a… [more]

Making Family Visits Easier for Your Foster Child

May 10th, 2011

baby girlThe 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]

When a Birth Parent Thanks the Foster Parent

April 14th, 2008

One of the rewards of foster parenting is when a birth parent thanks you; when you know that a birth parent really appreciates all you have done, and all you are doing, for his or her child. My five-year-old foster daughter’s mother looked me in the eyes and said, “I couldn’t do what you do. I don’t know how you can do it.” The name of a child we had fostered several years ago had come up and she had asked me about whom we were talking. I explained that it was a child we thought we were adopting. She had come into our family as a newborn and had stayed until she was 20 months old. Our family was deeply in love with her. Then… [more]

Do Foster Parents Have To Give Up Their Vacations? Part 1

February 28th, 2007
Posted By: on Foster Care

This is a question that seems to be asked a lot of myself and other foster parents that I know. There seems to be a lot of misinformation or information that is not entirely correct about foster care so I will address them one at time. Foster parents can continue taking family vacations, long weekends, family reunions, etc. while you are foster parents. Does having foster children change these things, and how you spend your free time? Sure, you have two real options. First one is you can choose to use respite care for your foster children. This may be the easier one in some ways but should not be your first choice. Placing your foster children in respite is not always what is best for them. Please… [more]

Dealing With Your Foster Child’s Difficult Bio Visits Part 3

January 15th, 2007
Posted By: on Foster Care

Continued Not all children will react this way. You will have to find things that will work for your children. I had one foster daughter after visits, she wanted to sit and talk with me alone without the other children. She was the only one I had this way. She wanted love, nurturing, cuddling time after her visit. I have learned to give the child time to their self without having them doing the typical child stuff homework, bath, chores, etc.. Allowing the child to come out when they are ready is what seemed to work. Let the teacher know what is going on, meaning that on Tuesdays, Johnny has visits with his bio family, this is very difficult for him. After his visit he has a lot of emotions to deal… [more]

Dealing With Your Foster Child’s Difficult Bio Visits Part 2

January 15th, 2007
Posted By: on Foster Care

Continued I started having my children including foster children in my bedroom playing games, watching a movie, etc. when it was time for her to get home. This would work for the most part, because children are not allowed in my bedroom without permission (what ever reason she followed that rule). Granted she was still hostile towards me, calling me names (I am a big girl and can handle it. It really bothered my other children to see her treat me this way and call me names.) I would let her vent at me, I didn’t respond much. She would ask, “Do you hear me?” I would respond, “I am sorry you are having a bad day. I will sit and listen to you if… [more]