Monday, May 22, 2006

foster care

I had a request to talk about my feelings on doing foster care. I honestly have my feelings go back and forth most of the time! Right up front, it is hard. It can be emotionally draining and yet on the flip side, very rewarding.

What most people don't know is that they get to choose what they want. The state does not drop off what ever they have! You can choose male or female, just babies or just teens or. whatever you feel best about. When they call with a placement, if it doesn't feel right for whatever reason, you can say no to it. They always have at least 3 families in mind before they even ask you so it's not like you are abandoning a child before you even get them. They baby we had and ended up adopting was my 3rd or 4th call. I had said no to the others but when they called about G, I immediately knew we should take him. He was a hard baby but wonderful and beautiful too. I know he was supposed to be here.

If you get a placement and it is just not working, you can have them removed. I have actually done that before too. The state has an insurance program for any damage done to your property by a foster child.

You can also choose between respite care which is if a foster parent goes on vacation or needs a break, you babysit for a week or so and that's it. You can choose to do emergency care and that is if they have a child that needs a place to stay RIGHT NOW, can you take them? But that is NOT long term. It can last form 2 weeks to a month or so until they find a foster family. You cannot keep that child for long term. When they find a home you have to give them up. That is hard for some. I do that and the regular long term. Sometimes it is nice to know you won't have to keep them for long!

There is good and bad in anything you do. This is something that I believe the Lord needs help with. These children need a loving home and yes, it is hard but they make it nice by giving you so many choices.

Will I keep doing it? Do I think it is worth it? Well, I am relicesing in June


Kimberly said...

Thank you Melissa for this. I have been feeling strongly that I'd like to do foster care but my husband is not so sure and that is why he asked questions

Dangerman said...

Thank you for your post and your feelings on this.

Maren said...

My new sister-in-law's parents do foster care in Utah. They recently took on 4 siblings at once. They are so young and darling (they were at my brother's wedding). Utah had to find a family that could take on 4 children, which was't easy. If things don't work out with their birth family, they will probably adopt them. I think it is wonderful to do, if one has the resources and energy to do it.

Lisa said...

As a former foster child and current child advocate...

Thank you for what you are doing. Your insight is welcome anytime on my blog:

Island Queen said...

Thank you for sharing your feelings on this. I've pondered doing Foster Care for many years but being nervous about bringing in a child that might harm my own children has prevented me from going forward with it.

I didn't know you could choose the type of fostering you do. Thank you for clarifying that. It's good to know.

Lisa M. said...

Hey Melissa,

Great post. I love that you are a foster parent, and I think you're a great one.

You're truly an advocate for the child, and that is quite important.

I think you're a good parent. I really do. I know you question yourself sometimes, but you are. I appreciate your friendsip and love. I am so lucky to know you.