The more exposure I gain to foster care, the more I realize how many widely held misconceptions exist about foster care. Whether about the purpose of foster care, who foster kids are, or the needs within the community, these misconceptions tend to keep people at a distance, leading to inaction.
While many people get involved after a child is placed into foster care -- such as CPS caseworkers, lawyers, judges, and family members -- advocates (also called “CASAs”) are the only players in a child abuse case who are there as volunteers representing the best interests of the child, as well as the eyes and ears of the community.
My ideal open relationship some day in the future looks like birth parents (and even other siblings) coming to my home to share meals, celebrate birthdays and achievements, and mark special occasions. I would love them to occupy picture frames and photo albums around the house, to be regular faces during holidays, and guests at graduation.
Our time with foster care taught us that agencies are not one-size-fits-all. Like any company, each agency has a culture, and each has strengths and weaknesses. Because your agency has the potential to make or break your overall experience, it is important to weigh the culture against criteria that are significant to you.
There are more than 3,500 children in foster care in this region, according to statistics by the Texas Department of Family and Protective services. This means there is also an overwhelming number of mothers, fathers, and other family members currently experiencing crisis.
At times, you may feel that mom life is not the most glamorous job, but your particular skill set is exactly what’s needed. Your inner Mama Bear can be of great assistance to advocate for these precious faces who come from really broken stories.
When I attended our first adoption education seminar, which is an informational workshop for all perspective adoptive parents, hosted by our adoption agency, I completed a worksheet that asked the question: Have you ever experienced racism? In fact, there...