Do you have a question about how JRI services, related to COVID-19 or otherwise?
Be a Foster Parent
“I’m her seventeenth.”
Foster mom’s voice was full of emotion. My eyes widened, my skin prickled. “Seventeenth? Home?”
“Yes, she’s seven, her sister is four, and I’m their seventeenth.”
A is seven years old and has lived in seventeen homes. D is four years old and has lived in nearly as many. For the seven year old, that means a new home roughly every four months. For the four year old, that means a new
“Remember that no one succeeds alone. Never walk alone in your future paths.” –Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer
There are days and nights when we all feel alone. Our staff, our children, our foster parents, our biological parents…Probably even the judges presiding over these fragile lives feel alone.
But we never are. Not a single one of us. And we shouldn’t be.
We are part of a caring community. We are surrounded by friends
May is National Foster Care Month. It is a month to reflect upon the confusing system that is foster care, to keep children in care, foster parents, biological parents, foster siblings (the children of foster parents), foster care workers, judges, lawyers, GALs, CASA workers, and everyone else in your thoughts. And for some of our foster parents, it is the right time to reflect back upon why they choose to foster.
Mama B is one
I love words (which should be of no surprise to those of you who follow this blog- I use a lot of them!). The words we choose, the phrases that have become engrained in our cultures mean so much.
“To raise a child.” It is such a common statement. But what does it mean? Why not “build a child,” “complete a child,” “construct a child,” or something else that describes the work and effort that
They tore around the large room. Blocks were immediately turned into missiles, beverages on tables grabbed, anything within reach grabbed. Their eyes darted around, yet they avoided eye contact at all costs. We were unknown, this place was unknown.
“Is it always like this?” I asked, breathless after chasing down my work phone which had nearly gone airborne.
“Since they arrived, yes…It’s like they’ve never been in a house before,” Foster Mom said, catching a
Foster parents create healing homes. They walk beside children who have experienced some of the deepest wounds and help them find their way through. It takes courage, patience and love. One of our amazing families shared their story recently.
“I think I need to talk to (social worker’s name). Can you call her for me?” she asked, her eyes serious as they cleared the dishes from the table.
Foster mom recalled the immediate concern she
We call an Uber or a Lyft for a ride to the airport. We call AAA if we get a flat tire. We call DoorDash if we are sick and don’t have the energy to cook a meal for our family. We nod to our neighbors but don’t know their names or invite them in for coffee. We connect with family and friends via social media, but rarely reach out in person. The days are
Applying to Become a Licensed Foster Parent: References
There are many steps to becoming a licensed foster parent. Background checks, obtaining documentation, attending MAPP class, and the homestudy. One of the most over-looked and under-appreciated components of the study, however, is the reference section.
Agencies are required to obtain personal references, employer references, school references (if applicants have school-aged children in their home), and medical references. Agencies may ask different questions on their forms, but
Mrs. M was gone for two weeks. She cried for the first two days, then checked in with the respite parents regularly. “Is she doing okay? Is she eating? How is she sleeping?”
Mrs. A, respite parent for Mrs. M's 13 month old miracle baby (born substance exposed at 26 weeks gestation, in the hospital for nearly three months before her release to our foster parent, Mrs. M) carried Little Miracle into the office, beaming with delight.
I’m not who I was. I’ve learned, I’ve experienced life, I’ve met new people who have helped make me the person I am in my current form. My brain has grown and developed. Difficult situations have arisen and I’ve survived them. Wonderful moments have happened and I’ve cherished them. If I’d experienced these same moments and situations at fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, twenty-two, etc., I would have responded and reflected differently. Because I’m not who I