In Part One, I discussed the problems the Foster Care System faces. Today I will explore what can be done to make the lives of the children in the System better.
The most important thing foster parents can do for the children they foster is stay. By sending a child back to the agency, the child’s load of trauma and hurt only grows, yet it is amazing how many foster children are rejected after causing trouble.
Would you send your child away after they misbehaved? What makes foster children less deserving then your child?
We humans covet and love our blood ties. Parents are more willing to love their children by birth but even then, parents fail. Foster children have parents. Most likely their birth parents were uncaring, abusive, or negligent.
If you considered or are considering being a foster parent, stop and a moment and ask yourself if you will have time for your foster child, in addition to any children of your own? Will you have patience with your charge? Are you prepared to heal the damage done to the foster child? Do you have the energy and caring to show your foster child not all adults will hurt them?
If you hesitate in your answers, it is possible your home will not be a haven for a foster child. If you still wish to foster, you must make resolutions in patience and kindness and gentleness. A foster child will give you a taste of parenting your child can never give you.
Need I say do not be a foster parent if what you want is the little money coming with the child? The child needs to come first, and should be treated as if the money did not exist.
If you are a person with a big heart and a kind soul and you want to help hurting children, do it and stay with them. Do your research first and foster a child with something as great as adoption in mind.
One of the greatest errors of the foster system is that it is built upon the word ‘temporary’. It does no child little to no good to spent a few weeks or months growing attached to caring foster parents only to be wrenched back to the darkness of living with a mother who has just finished rehab.
As with the foster system, rehabilitation does little good unless the adult in question takes it upon themselves to change their life. The number of people who spend their lives relapsing and going through rehab again and again are countless. In their wake, they leave confused and hurting children who grow to maybe make the same mistakes as their peers.
Navigate through behavioral issues with a foster child as you would with your own kids and show your foster child you care no matter what he or she does. Understand fostering is not a swift one month or one week stay with a child but a life-long commitment. By keeping a foster child, you help another child find home.
Unfortunately, so many foster children are already emotionally and mentally damaged that they are likely to respond to adoption with rebellion and misbehavior; being loved by someone is too good to be true!
Many parents looking to adopt a foster child have been quickly deterred when faced with open rebellion and declared the child a monster. By giving up on the adoption, the parents prove to the foster child being loved by someone is too good to be true. It is another of a long line of betrayals the child will remember, and fall back to for guidance when faced with a new foster home.
One of the best things foster parents can do is adopt a baby. By adopting a baby, the child is kept from experiencing the trauma of going from home to home without being able to make friends or form connections.
I thought babies would be snapped up by childless couples but more parents prefer to struggle and try for a child through medical and all means possible before finally giving up and perhaps not having children at all. The parents who do succeed in having a baby after years of trying call it their ‘miracle baby’ but still go on to spank their son or daughter in a breach of love and trust.
What shocked me was that many foster parents give babies back into the system after a crying fit!
It is not that foster parents are unequipped to handle kids; foster parents are required to take parenting classes. The problem is that there are few people in the country who actually know how to be parents.
Part Three: What happened to real parents?