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Readers Respond: I Wish Foster Parents Knew...

Responses: 11

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Whether you are a foster parent, a foster child, a birth parent, or perhaps a social worker - what do you wish you could tell other foster parents? How would you finish this sentence, "I Wish Foster Parents Knew..."

Finish the Sentence

Sometimes foster care really does work

We're new to fostering and had one lengthy placement and now we're 2 1/2 months into the next. Both kids thrived/are thriving in our home, deep affection and bonding that is mutual, great relationship with bio parents/extended family and wonderful caseworkers. It really can work! We receive the support we need, but we're also proactive and positive--this doesn't happen by magic. The first little boy went home and our current placement looks like she might stay long-term. So much of the foster parent experience lies in fp attitude, level of involvement and professionalism. If you're not emotionally healthy or not willing to recognize that this is a professional position in one's home, don't do fostering!
—Guest Zoe

how important they are to society

I always hear about how foster parents are important to the kids, but never about how they are important to the entire society. You are doing a great Job! Cintia Blogger, A Saving Love…that will change a Child’s Life! Cintia@ASavingLove.com | www.asavinglove.com
—Guest cintia

Family is family...

...and biological family to a youth in foster care deserves respect. I more than understand that some parents have made horrific choices, but at the end of the day we need to give them our respect as the child is watching us. We can go through the court processes to ensure a child's safety, which may ultimately mean that the child never returns to the care of that parent, but we need to show nothing less than compassion for that child's family. We are the role models in their young lives and need to show them that the world is good. We need to show them that there are people they can trust and count on. Foster care is full of uncertainty. We need to remember we all have had our struggles and made mistakes within the decisions we have made. Give the child and their family some empathy as you never know where your path will lead you and your loved ones. Foster parents are one of the most key players into making the process less traumatic for the child. Foster parents are phenomenal!!!
—Guest FosterCareCaseManager

You're screwed

It's not about what's best for the kids and foster parents are only being used as a holding "tank" until the kids can be returned to the bio-parent. The only way to get thru it is to take foster care on as a business, not really care about the welfare of the kids, if you have no life, if you have no heart, if you can jump thru the hoops and your main goal is only to rodeo children until they can be given back to a parent that doesn't give a sh*t, then you should do well.
—Fostergrandmother

cgsummer

I was a specialized foster care LICSW social worker for Washington DC foster kids. This is what I know. This social worker did NOT always have all the fact re: the foster child's history; this social worker in her 11 months of working in child welfare met A LOT of foster parents who lied and appeared to have psychiatric disorders &/or substance abuse problems. The bar for foster parents is very low in DC. I was heart broken by some of the foster parents I met; the pathology and manipulation attempts blew my mind. Only about 30% were good/adequate foster parents. I fantasized about winning the lottery and opening a safe wonderful orphanage for the foster kids I worked with. I wish to God I could save so many of the kids I knew. I had to get out of DC SW;it was too hard.
—Guest cgsummer

Loyalty runs deep

No matter how much you love a child, provide a safe environment, and enable the child to grow and heal, they will still love their birth family unconditionally. Those family members will be put on a high pedestal, no matter what the reasons for being in care, the children would rather be with them then in your caring home...don't take it personally, just accept it and find a way to deal with it.
—Guest Erin

It takes more than love

So many people think that all these kids need is love and while they do definitely need love, they need much, much more. They need good role models, they need foster parents that can not take things personally, parents who can stand chaos and unknowns, parents who can create safety and boundaries without being rigid, parents who have resolved their own losses and emotional baggage and don't expect kids to heal them, who can manage their anger in healthy ways and who can maintain healthy relationships with their spouse and friends. Love is wonderful and heals a lot, but it just isn't enough to think that it will fix everything. You aren't going to "fix" foster children - you help them learn to manage and cope with their past and current situation and try to give them the best future possible.
—Guest Jen M

The truth

What they were getting into. I have been a foster parent for years and it usually doesn't matter what the birth parent does. Unless they give up the child they usually go home to the same situation. Don't have any unrealistic expectations. And docs goal is to reunify. They are pro parent and as the foster parent, very little help or support is there for you. It is hard to love a child and have them moved no matter if I know it's coming or not. Case managers don't seam to understand that foster parent has the child's interest at heart, we are the ones caring for this child 24-7 and we generally do want what is best for the child. bp are not my concern. That kid I care for is but that will not be considered only that birth parent does the minimum required by the court.
—Guest Foster mom michelle

The Law re: Casey

Being an adoption specialist, I have spent my share of time in the court room. Always, I want the assurance that the law will be applied equally to all. This, even though I am sad about it, applies to the jury's findings for Casey Anthony. A not-guilty" verdict was inevitable. There simply was not enough evidence. Now, the difficult part is that IF she did murder her daughter, she has become a very dangerous criminal-she committed a crime with no consequences other than some jail time, and got away with it legally. I will be concerned about the safety of anyone who has a relationship with her.
—BethBristow

the importance of researching issues.

In my 20 years, I have had 20 children placed in my home. The major information that I needed was not always available, which made it a challenge to help my children. I wish Social workers had been totally honest and up front about the children they had placed in my care. For 20 years, I have had to re-educate myself with the many issues that have arisen. Total honesty would have made our relationships more successful.
—Guest Larry

A Child's Perspective

how much of a child's history impacts their ability to trust and accept the care that foster parents offer. Trust is a process and it need not matter how beautiful and loving your home is, kids need time to adapt and to trust adults again.
—Guest Donicka

Finish the Sentence

I Wish Foster Parents Knew...

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