Space for Older Foster Children: The Importance of Space of Love

November 21st, 2012

unicornRumor warned against becoming foster parents of older children while having younger children. That's the advice I'd heard for years. Younger children can't always express their feelings or what's going on, and sometimes it's just easier on everyone if the ages of the children in the home either match or you become a foster parent after they have all gotten older. Sadly, that was my mindset for quite awhile. And with a toddler and two elementary school kids, I stuck pretty firmly with that. But then everything changed with just one phone call. One Phone Call, One Emergency My best friend, Cassie, works at DSS, monitoring foster care cases. At times, Lake and I had thought about becoming foster parents. After all, we have this… [more]

Texas offers Free Pre K for Foster (and Former Foster) Children

December 28th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

DSCN5329If you have a 3 or 4 year old in your Foster Care home in Texas, that child is eligible for free Pre-K through the local school district.  Some school districts begin the program at age three and some at age 4;  check your district's website to discover the age limits for your school district.  Age eligibility in Texas is always calculated by the child's age on September 1 so if your district offers Pre-K to 3-year-olds, your child will be eligible at the start of the next school year following her third birthday.  Children do not start mid year if they would not have been old enough on September 1. The only caveat is that once a child has been enrolled in… [more]

I Know This For a Fact

October 22nd, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

148735_namibian_students_-_sports_1There are many times that I look at my family and am in awe of the differences amongst us. Each of my children are of a different ethnic race. Each comes from a different situation. Yet, when they are all together- it works. It is not uncommon to be able to spot the foster families because of the obvious differences in racial ethnicity. These differences make many people ask questions. Yet, there are so many similarities amongst children that it comes as a surprise to me that people think raising a child of another race would be so scary. There are things that are done differently. One example is haircare. If a Caucasian foster family has an African-American child they need to know how to… [more]

Books and Trainings

July 8th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

babyinbasket-clipart-graphicsfairy007Our social worker came yesterday for our quarterly review.  I have almost completed my training hours this year -- we only lack two hours.  Nonetheless, I signed up to take the  Karyn Purvis inspired course, "Trauma-Informed Care." I am really excited about this course for one simple reason:  I think most kids who come into the foster system have experienced trauma.  In some ways, it's blindingly obvious.  We are born to parents whom we are biologically programmed to love and to depend upon.  When that bond is broken, for any reason, that in itself is trauma.  Of course they are talking about different trauma than this -- but just the act of removal would… [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]

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

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]

Foster Child to 1st-Time Overseas Flyer: New Beginnings; 41 Yrs in the Making

February 23rd, 2011

Nathan J WilliamsBeing raised in the foster care system between the ages of 5 and 18 was a great rehearsal for what is transpiring in my life today at the age of 46.  I am traveling to foreign places, trusting that the people I meet will appreciate and love me, sight unseen.  Often, foster children see their situation as unusual and unfair.  However, it is in moments of uncertainty, which have filled my life all too often, that I understand that my upbringing has uniquely prepared me for the challenges that have come my way.  I am frequently reminded that I must see the possibilities in all situations and circumstances. We will leave from London via a tour bus to the Netherlands, from… [more]

Helping Your Foster Child Feel At Home

March 23rd, 2010
Posted By: on Foster Care

1109275_pensativeHaving a foster child in your home can be just as intimidating as it is for the foster child to be in a new home and a new environment. There will be a transitional period for everyone involved; that’s normal. But there are some simple and effective ways that can help make your foster child feel at home. Remember that each situation is different; find the method that works best for you, your foster child, and your situation. Decorate: If you can, give your foster child his or her own personal space. Let him or her decorate it. Help your foster child decorate. You can use it as a bonding experience, and you’ll get to know your foster child more because you’ll be… [more]

Helping Your Foster Child Succeed in School

December 18th, 2009
Posted By: on Foster Care

1193228_doodled_desks_2The holidays have come and gone. And it is difficult for each member of the family to get back to the daily routine of every-day life. Not only is it hard for you to return to work, but it equally as hard for your children to return to school. It can be tough for them to focus and complete class work and homework. Being ahead of the problem is important. It is essential to tackle potential school issues before they get too out of hand. Encouraging your child to perform better in school can teach him or her the importance of education and goal-reaching. If you're having hesitations about where to start, consider the following list:

  • Stay Positive: It is probable that if you