My husband and I are looking into being foster parents.
Our kids are adults now and we both feel that this is a way we can give back to the community as well as perform some spiritual and corporal works of mercy. We both have our faults and failings …our strengths and weaknesses…
Any advice or experience out there to help us in our decision?
My husband and I are looking into being foster parents.
My husband and I have been foster parents and will soon be signing up again to become foster parents (we moved to a different state.) I should preface this with the fact that our intention was to adopt, not to foster parent and return, and that we both are people who strongly believe in personal responsibility and there is a difference between right and wrong and that hurting children always falls on the side of wrong. That being said, we have an innate tendency to dislike the actions of bio-parents who have reached a threshold which necessitated the removal of their children, and find it hard to separate the past actions of the bio-parents from their potential to be good parents in the future.
The foster care system itself stinks. The people we worked with, in general, were barely competent, from the social workers at the state to the people who transported our foster care baby to her visits. They intend to put the interests of the children first but our experience was that the children’s needs are put last and the state was innordinately lax in caring for our foster baby. It took 3 months to get her medicare card, 4 months to get reimbursed for her care, 2 months for anyone to come to our house to make sure we weren’t hurting her (obviously we weren’t, but other foster parents might not have been so dutiful), but… only a month of employment by ONE of her parents, 6 months of sobriety and 2 weeks of living together after 10 years of addiction, 11 other children by the one or the other of the two parents being taken away, 6 or 7 felonies and multiple instances of domestic violence including causing premature birth and strangulation between the two of them to put the baby and her brother back in their care.
We still want to be foster parents again. Why? Because we love children and it isn’t their fault that the state and their bio-parents are screwed up. If we can give them 1 month or 18 years of stability, it may be the best experience from which they can make decisions in the future. In our case, we gave an infant 7 months of care and love, and when she left us she had no attachment disorder and was a happy healthy person with an expectation that the world was a good place and that she was loved.
Thanks for the info…we are working with a group that calls itself Christian Care Communities…not so bad as working directly with the state…at least they make no bones about the need for God in our lives…I have been involved with daycare for over thirteen years…I agree that the system often “stinks” and that it is not always about the kids safety…
I still need more info…positives verses negatives
My husband and I adopted three girls from the foster care system almost seven years ago. They were ages 8, 5, and three. I would highly recommend trying for children that are younger and keeping them as foster status. I think it would be easier to take the infants or the medically fragile and handicapped children rather than the older children like we did. I believe we have provided a better life for our children , but it has come at the price of us almost losing our marriage.
Our girls have something called Reactive Attachment Disorder. The middle child broke my nose and when I became pregnant, threatened to kill my baby on a daily basis. The oldest girl has tried numerous times to seduce my husband. Both girls have falsely accused us to other adults of not feeding them and other nonsense. They do these things because they are unbonded. Many attempts at therapy have failed. I tell you this because this is a very common problem with older foster kids. They will stop at nothing to get their own way. If you are the one setting limits on them, you will be their target. I am not trying to say that you shouldn’t do it, but protect yourself. I have talked to many other foster/adoptive parents who have had the same experience as us. Yes, you will be giving the child a better life, but you have to go into it expecting nothing back. Just because you love them, does not mean they will love you back. That is why I recommend going with the handicapped kids and the babies. They are not as risky as the older kids.
The biggest worry that I have is that it will place too big of a strain on our marriage…all we can do is pray and give it a go.
My husband is the one encouraging me to do this…he know I love kids.
I am asking for infants and toddlers…they are the ones I provided care for in the daycare system…I love to work with them!
a good first step is to find out what the requirements are in your state, and undergo the evaluation, home inspection, background checks etc. plus any training or orientation program offered by the agency. That should help you make a decision. Next talk to some foster parents and get their story. We went through the process but because of my health do not qualify any longer, so I try to act as a “foster grandparent” for friends who are foster parents. I did have to get certified even in order to babysit or offer respite care, we just cannot have children living in our home.
it has to be something everyone in the family is behind 100% and everyone is prepared for, but you can never prepare for some situations. Also, get it straight in your mind before you go into if you want to be foster parents or if you are looking to adopt. If there is any possibility to work with a Catholic or at least Christian placement agency do so, you will have a much better experience than working with the state.
Thanks…we are already involved with Christian Care Communities and have liked what we’ve seen so far…a little touchy- feely but I can understand if the roles were reversed how I would want to know all they are asking of the foster parent to be.
It really makes you dig…sometimes compost stinks:o but it will just rot if not turned:)