Becoming a foster parent to a child in need can be a rewarding experience in itself. In addition to helping to change the life of a child in need for the better, foster parents also receive an assortment of benefits to aid in ensuring that they are able to provide for the child or children in their care as effectively as possible. There Is Hope Foster Family Agency recognizes the significance and the special needs of foster parents and works in unity with them to make sure that each parent/family is given the support needed to provide a loving home and environment.
School is out, and I know this because just as I am getting the baby down to sleep the front door opens wide and the house is instantly filled with chatter and excitement. My heart swells when I hear these sounds. It reminds me of the good that we are doing every day. Being a foster parent means to love, protect, heal, strengthen, comfort, teach, uplift, encourage, nourish, guide, inspire and cherish. This is not a glamorous job; it is not one that people are breaking down the door to get in line for. It can be difficult, overwhelming, and challenging both mentally and physically. Despite the challenges I know in my heart this is what we were meant to be doing.
My husband and I have been fostering for about 3 and a half years. In those 3.5 years my children have ranged from 2 days old to 18 years old. Placements of these children have also ranged. Our longest placement so far is 23 months, and our shortest was 4 months long. We do our best to ensure that every child that comes through our home is set up for success. We do this by advocating for each child to have Wrap and TBS services. These services ensure that even our most difficult cases will get the help they need. By utilizing these services my husband and I also get the support that we need. Especially when we are dealing with the many behavioral issues that we come across.
Fostering has been a learning process and even after the years that we have done we learn something new every day. Each child is unique and with that must be approached using different methods. We do what works for us and our kids, at the end of the day I look forward to the day they leave my home feeling empowered to live productive lives, knowing that they have been loved and cherished. I love to watch my kids grow and move on to other things in their lives. My favorite part is when they call just to chat because they missed their mom. No matter how long they may be gone for when they walk back into our home they know they are still family and they are loved. When times get rough I remind myself that though it may be hard at times it is worth every sleepless night and every shed tear.
A license is required to operate a foster home. The process requires a licensing worker to visit your home and meet with you and other family members. Minimum personal, safety and space requirements are required by law. Foster parents work with social services staff to determine the type of child best suited for their home (i.e., age, health issues, and gender). Foster parents receive a monthly payment to feed, clothe, and meet the material needs of the children placed in their care. Medical and dental coverage is provided through the Medi-Cal program. For working parents, appropriate child care arrangements must be made by the foster parents.