Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«14 »
  • Post
  • Reply
Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


My wife and I just recently completed the adoption process for her biological daughter (I'm legally her dad after 5 hard-fought years) and after about a year of discussion, we've decided that we want to become foster parents to expand the family and give another child a good home. The ultimate goal would be to find good placement and hopefully work towards adoption if that's an option, however I know reunification is the ultimate goal of these kinds of programs.

We're shooting for a girl between 4-7 which from what I'm told there are a boatload of in our area (Oklahoma) so that works out well in our favor of getting assigned a foster child very quickly. My major concern is about getting really attached and then losing them if they're reunited. I know that's the goal but how do you handle that? It's worse on the kid I'm sure being torn family to family like that.

We have classes set up for this month to get certified already and have asked a few general questions to our case worker, but I'm just looking to see if anyone had experiences to share from either end of the process.

If you are/were a foster parent currently, how long were the kids in your home generally?
What behavioral issues were you up against, if any?
Have you had any luck moving towards adoption and how did the process go/how long did it take?
What are you experiences with the different kids of kids/ages that you've experienced?
How did the agencies work with you and was their communication up to par? We picked a smaller agency and our case worker has been incredibly responsive and doesn't have 80 other kids and families to worry about which took some concern away.
Did you have to keep in touch with the bio-parents at all or was it no communication?

From the other end as a kid in foster care (if you were):
What did you expect or know being in foster care? I know it's a weird question but I'm curious what the expectations are from the view of the child.
When did it become more apparent about what was going on by your age? Like when did reality kick in about being essentially passed around to people who aren't your bio-parents. Was it explained to you at all?
Did you eventually get adopted? Or reunited with your biological parents?

Any info would be great. Our first class is this week plus orientation and we're super excited. My daughter is already asking every day when she's getting a sister so everyone's on board at least.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


First off, kudos to you for even considering something like this.

I spent some time as a foster kid so I'll try to answer a couple of your questions below.

I do want to say it can be really tough and you should definitely talk to other foster parents and get a good idea of what you're getting into.


A touch of backstory, hopefully leaving most of the E/N parts out. Right before my 13th birthday some bad poo poo happened in life. I was already in a single parent home, and when that parent can't take care of the children anymore, and you have no family... well you go in the system. Family Services, or whatever the hell it's called in your area comes and gets you from the cops, and off you go.
The first week was scary and confusing and loving scary. I had no idea what was going on with my dad, I had a little brother with me I was trying to protect, (12, almost 13 year old boy trying to be a man here), and we were thrown into a group home with about 12 or 13 other kids. I think there were around 15 of us or so. It was a total shock to reality, no one really talks to you because your a kid, and just... yeah. After about a month or so I was placed into foster care for a few months while some court poo poo worked its way out. I'll try to keep my responses to the experience with the foster family.

Kodilynn posted:

What did you expect or know being in foster care? I know it's a weird question but I'm curious what the expectations are from the view of the child.

Honestly I had no expectations at all. We were 2 scared (freaked the gently caress out tbh) kids, 12 and 10 who got dropped off at a strangers home by a social worker and told they were going to take care of us for a while. Honestly I went into pure survival mode.
The folks were nice enough, not a great fit, but what are you going to do? They were an older farm belt couple, retired, trying to help some kids out. We weren't religious, they said grace at every meal. The did old people poo poo like go to bed early and eat dinner at 5PM, we didn't.
We grew up in the deep south, and folks in Kansas always made fun of what they considered excess pleasantries. Everyone was Miss/Mr, lots of yes ma'am and the like so we behaved well. We got along OK, did what we had to do, just focused on surviving until the next day. The biggest complaint I had is we were always hungry with them. They ate very small portions, and 13 year old boys can put down a disgusting amount of food. We really didn't have any of our "stuff" either which was tough. Nothing felt like ours. It wasn't a child friendly environment.

I'm not sure if it was harder with us being older or not. We were able to process what was going on better, but being the father of a 6 and 4 year old now, little kids are amazingly adaptable. I was not adaptable as a 13 year old punk rear end shithead.

quote:

When did it become more apparent about what was going on by your age? Like when did reality kick in about being essentially passed around to people who aren't your bio-parents. Was it explained to you at all?
Did you eventually get adopted? Or reunited with your biological parents?
I'm not the best person to answer this one since all this happened between the ages of 12 and 14 for me. Fortunately I wasn't really "passed" around either. I had an initial stint in a facility, moved to a group home, and then was placed with the old couple until some court poo poo happened. I was able to understand at that age what was going on. My father was deemed incapable of being our parent, and my biological mother hadn't been a part of my life since I was about 8 years old. No one even knew where she was, much less would she have been capable of taking me and my brother in.

I personally was never officially adopted. A friend of the family (our next door neighbors) lawyered up and petitioned the court for custody of us since we had no one else. After going through the courts the lady I call my Mom became our Guardian and Conservator until I was 18. My legal parents are my biological parents, but there's only one person I call Mom. My father died when I was 18 years old, my biological mother is alive somewhere last I checked, but haven't had any contact with her in 20+ years.

quote:

Any info would be great. Our first class is this week plus orientation and we're super excited. My daughter is already asking every day when she's getting a sister so everyone's on board at least.

My advice would be to get a realistic idea of what to expect when taking someone into your home and temper expectations accordingly. They're going to come with a lot of baggage, and it will probably take them a very long time before they even start to become comfortable in a strange environment. Your daughter isn't going to overnight have a new sister. It will take a lot of time for trust and a level of comfort to be established, there are probably going to be some behavior issues.

Even though a family we were very familiar took us in, they were close family friends even, it still took me the better part of 18 months to get comfortable, and took some of their family even longer to accept us. Showing up at family Christmas with 2 new 13 and 11 year boys in your family didn't go over so hot with some of the extended family, but that was their loving problem. They were assholes back then, and they're still assholes today.

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Thank you so much for replying and sharing that. I had my wife read it as well and it really is an amazing eye opener to hear from someone within the system. We really are pretty much flying blind into this. My mother was adopted, my daughter is adopted (biologically my wife's), and we had our first class the other day. The information was overwhelming and the reality and harshness of what the kids go through is unreal. We both had that moment of 'we have to do this, we want to do this' while watching one of the videos they had us watch. Seeing videos from both sides of it, both foster parents, bio parents, and kids was definitely a reality check as to what this really is, what we're getting into, and we're going to learn more about what to expect as the classes continue.

We know it's going to be a very uphill battle and we're going through a smaller agency which has literally held our hand through the entire process which is streamlined into 60 days. We still have a long road ahead of us but we're really looking forward to being there for whomever is placed in our home until they can either be reunified with their biological parents or become a bigger part of our family.

Thanks again skipdogg, i'm glad it worked out at least in the end and wasn't a poo poo show like some of the things I've heard and read in terms of system abuse.

photomikey
Dec 30, 2012


I got certified as a foster parent a year or two back and never ended up putting us on the list to get a foster child, so I can't answer with a lot of confidence. The one thing that stuck with me through training and has born true with friends I've seen go through it (both as the child and the parent) is that if you get a kid who was removed from a home where they were sleeping on dirty carpet without plumbing in the house and a drug addicted parent with no food in the fridge, and they are placed in your 5 bedroom house in the suburbs with an olympic pool and a 70" TV with cable and a maid and 3 hot meals a day, they will eventually resent you for dragging them out of their perfect family life and forcing them to live in such a shithole. It's not logical, but if you can consider the kid's life through that lens, it will help you understand all the other poo poo you go through.

In California, most adoptions are open now. When you have a kid removed from a home because of drugs, 1) you'll be doing visitation on a court ordered schedule (couple times a week) until the case is closed, maybe a year or two, with a drug addicted parent whose children you've stolen, and 2) once the adoption is finalized (if you're the adoptive parent), look forward to a lifetime worth of occasional letters, phone calls, and visits from them. I did not hear a lot of good things about open adoption in this scenario from the adoptive parents.

I think being a foster parent is one of the most important things you can do in our society, and I encourage you to move forward, but know what you're getting into (which you surely seem to).

VorpalBunny
May 1, 2009

Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog


Backstory - my husband and I have 2 young bio kids, but due to some lovely stuff in my childhood I really wanted to be a foster/adoptive parent if we decided to have more kids. My goal was to fost/adopt a sibling set to go with our bio set, so they could all play with each other but then the siblings would have each other as well.

My husband and I have been foster parents for 2 1/2 years now. We started out doing respite care, which is providing short term fostering for families who have medical emergencies or are traveling and can't take their foster kids. It's like extended babysitting, and we did it to make sure we could handle another kid or two and that our bio kids wouldn't freak out with new kids in the house, how we would emotionally respond to a short-term placement, etc. Our respite kid was awesome, the kids all got along swell, so we decided to go for a long-term placement.

We didn't have an age specifically, but we thought a sibling set near the same age as our bio kids (3 & 1 when we became certified) would be best. We knew it would be a handful, but it made the most sense. So when we got a call about a meth-positive, herpes-exposed newborn in a NICU needing an 8-day placement...we just saw it as another kind of respite care. We were warned that even though it was a temporary placement, things could get complicated and stuff. We took him in anyway, and long story short we just adopted him 2 years later this past April. No bio parents contact ever, weekly visitation with his extended bio family gradually tapered off and once it was clear they would never gain custody they just stopped showing up, and he is the happiest, most healthy little dude you've ever met. And super flirty too, he's 2 1/2 and is SUCH a ladies man!

The most basic thing I can say, for anyone looking to foster, is it is not about you. You are not the main focus of this process, everything is about the kid. As much as all of the training and visitation and appointments seem like a pain in the rear end, they are not for you to feel good about the world. It is for the scared little kid who may be acting like an rear end in a top hat but is really freaked out because even though they have only known chaos and pain and misery, it is their normal and anything you do to change that is shaking their world apart. I cannot stress this enough, this whole process is not about you, or your monetary compensation, or making you feel comfortable or secure in your lifestyle. I have seen too many people get frustrated by this process and quit because they never saw this through the kid's eyes. You should be a beacon of light in a sea of poo poo for those kids, and even if they are only placed with you for a short while, you need to make that short while the best example of leading a caring, loving responsible lifestyle so when that kid grows up and reflects on their life they have that moment of time that may have stuck with them to give them a blueprint for some kind of success.

I have a TON of unsolicited advice for people looking to fost/adopt. I'm happy to post more of it here (once I have another free moment later, I have the two youngest at home with me right now)!

VorpalBunny
May 1, 2009

Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog


skipdogg posted:

Even though a family we were very familiar took us in, they were close family friends even, it still took me the better part of 18 months to get comfortable, and took some of their family even longer to accept us. Showing up at family Christmas with 2 new 13 and 11 year boys in your family didn't go over so hot with some of the extended family, but that was their loving problem. They were assholes back then, and they're still assholes today.

We made a point of asking our closest family members how comfortable they were with foster kids in their home during holidays and stuff. We did it not to accommodate them, but to weed out the folks who might not reveal their true colors until a child of a different ethnicity showed up for Christmas. I guess it was a Trump test before we knew how to properly identify the family assholes. So far, so good, but maybe warning them in advance made them temper their objections.

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


VorpalBunny posted:

Backstory - my husband and I have 2 young bio kids, but due to some lovely stuff in my childhood I really wanted to be a foster/adoptive parent if we decided to have more kids. My goal was to fost/adopt a sibling set to go with our bio set, so they could all play with each other but then the siblings would have each other as well.

My husband and I have been foster parents for 2 1/2 years now. We started out doing respite care, which is providing short term fostering for families who have medical emergencies or are traveling and can't take their foster kids. It's like extended babysitting, and we did it to make sure we could handle another kid or two and that our bio kids wouldn't freak out with new kids in the house, how we would emotionally respond to a short-term placement, etc. Our respite kid was awesome, the kids all got along swell, so we decided to go for a long-term placement.

We didn't have an age specifically, but we thought a sibling set near the same age as our bio kids (3 & 1 when we became certified) would be best. We knew it would be a handful, but it made the most sense. So when we got a call about a meth-positive, herpes-exposed newborn in a NICU needing an 8-day placement...we just saw it as another kind of respite care. We were warned that even though it was a temporary placement, things could get complicated and stuff. We took him in anyway, and long story short we just adopted him 2 years later this past April. No bio parents contact ever, weekly visitation with his extended bio family gradually tapered off and once it was clear they would never gain custody they just stopped showing up, and he is the happiest, most healthy little dude you've ever met. And super flirty too, he's 2 1/2 and is SUCH a ladies man!

The most basic thing I can say, for anyone looking to foster, is it is not about you. You are not the main focus of this process, everything is about the kid. As much as all of the training and visitation and appointments seem like a pain in the rear end, they are not for you to feel good about the world. It is for the scared little kid who may be acting like an rear end in a top hat but is really freaked out because even though they have only known chaos and pain and misery, it is their normal and anything you do to change that is shaking their world apart. I cannot stress this enough, this whole process is not about you, or your monetary compensation, or making you feel comfortable or secure in your lifestyle. I have seen too many people get frustrated by this process and quit because they never saw this through the kid's eyes. You should be a beacon of light in a sea of poo poo for those kids, and even if they are only placed with you for a short while, you need to make that short while the best example of leading a caring, loving responsible lifestyle so when that kid grows up and reflects on their life they have that moment of time that may have stuck with them to give them a blueprint for some kind of success.

I have a TON of unsolicited advice for people looking to fost/adopt. I'm happy to post more of it here (once I have another free moment later, I have the two youngest at home with me right now)!

I would definitely love to have any advice that you can give. This has all been a by the seat of our pants experience and we're learning more and more every day that we do research and the stories and advice are definitely welcomed.

We're in the process of overhauling my office (I'm giving it up completely) to put in a bed and make it a gender neutral room so whoever we get can have a place they can call their own while they're with us. We learned quite a bit about respite care and considered it, but we're looking for more long-term placement. I know the ultimate goal is reunification but the average in our area and state from what I've been told and researched is 1-2 year placements and the majority of parents have little to no contact as they tend to be incarcerated or flat out abandon the kids. Our state/area kinda sucks in that regard.

I know that this is for the kids and we're still gauging how we're going to handle the emotional attachment that forms as my wife went through a lot as a kid so she relates to all of this quite a bit. It's new to me but I'm all for it.

The holiday discussion with the bio parents was a weird topic. I remember it from training thinking If they aren't crazy/thieves sure? maybe? The recruiter and case worker we've been dealing with already told us the majority of their cases currently see little to no bio-parent contact which is weird but amazingly abandonment and negligence outranked abuse in our territory which is incredibly unusual based on other state statistics. I would have thought it'd be the other way around. We're still pushing ahead full steam and plan to join the foster parent support groups and other resource groups that are available to keep our heads above water.

photomikey posted:

I got certified as a foster parent a year or two back and never ended up putting us on the list to get a foster child, so I can't answer with a lot of confidence. The one thing that stuck with me through training and has born true with friends I've seen go through it (both as the child and the parent) is that if you get a kid who was removed from a home where they were sleeping on dirty carpet without plumbing in the house and a drug addicted parent with no food in the fridge, and they are placed in your 5 bedroom house in the suburbs with an olympic pool and a 70" TV with cable and a maid and 3 hot meals a day, they will eventually resent you for dragging them out of their perfect family life and forcing them to live in such a shithole. It's not logical, but if you can consider the kid's life through that lens, it will help you understand all the other poo poo you go through.

I would have never thought to think of it this way through the kids eyes of the situation. That's crazy (to me) but it's a complete alteration of the kids expected reality, so in a weird way it makes complete sense.

Kodilynn fucked around with this message at 16:11 on Aug 16, 2016

Miranda
Dec 24, 2004

Not a cuttlefish.

I love all you people. I work in the neonatal ICU and we often send babies home to the shittiest situations and not often enough to awesome foster families. I wish it were different. There are also families who take on hospice kids and they're just amazing people. You all rock.

Tulalip Tulips
Sep 1, 2013

The best apologies are crafted with love.


On the social work side, we really like for foster parents to be realistic about what they can actually handle. You'll have to coordinate with the child's social worker for parent-child visitation, sibling visits if the child has siblings and they aren't placed with you, medical appointments, psych appointments (especially if the parents are doing an evaluation that covers their parenting skills and abilities), and you'll have to let the child's social worker in your home - in my state it's at least once a month. Sometimes the child that's being placed with you will have some extreme behavior issues and it's absolutely okay to acknowledge that and ask for help. I do my absolute best to work with foster parents to keep kids in their home because we need you guys and, more importantly, the kids need a stable loving foster home.

Don't be afraid to reach out for resources either. Your licenser will be able to help with them as well as the social worker for any kid you have placed with you. Look into foster parent/caregiver support groups as well since there are usually a number of veteran foster parents involved in them and they are great at helping you navigate and advocate for yourselves and your foster kids. They are great when you need to vent, figure out how to report any disclosures of child abuse your foster kid may make (you'd be surprised how open kids can get when they feel safe and loved), and they will be there for you when you have kids transition from your care back to their bio parents or relatives. Look into any training or classes you take and be aware that you're getting kids from many, many different kinds of backgrounds. I'd also read up on the Indian Child Welfare Act since you're in OK and you'll likely have Native American kids places with you (they are over represented in foster care in just about every state with a significant Native American population).

There are federal and state mandates that suck but we have to follow and judges/commissioners can make rulings we disagree with but also have to follow. If OK allows it, try and submit a report to court through the child's social worker. You spend the most time over all with them and can best tell judges and lawyers how they have changed, what kind of behavior issues they have and if they regress before/after visitations, etc. Build a support system to help you guys through the hard times because you will have kids moved from your home, sometimes bio-parents will call in an intake on you because they see a scratch or the kid says something concerning, and it can very much be a a rollercoaster.

Most of all I really do want to say thank you. We have a huge lack of foster parents in my state, especially for older children, and it's a tough but rewarding service you are providing. Social worker shortages and general turnover doesn't help either. Good luck! I make it sound more difficult than it is but honestly, a lot of the time it won't be anywhere near that bad.

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Miranda posted:

I love all you people. I work in the neonatal ICU and we often send babies home to the shittiest situations and not often enough to awesome foster families. I wish it were different. There are also families who take on hospice kids and they're just amazing people. You all rock.

I worked in the ER for about a year and a half and witnessed a delivery where the mother, probably in her 20s, was handcuffed, had the child, they took the child, and she went back to jail shortly after recovery. It boggles the mind what situations these people end up in and I saw my fair share of situations that were just mindblowing where I cannot fathom what kind of situations we send these kids home to (it was an indigent hospital to boot) and it was really depressing at times. We had a few instances where cops/DHS was called because of clear abuse or suspected abuse. It was heart breaking.

quote:

Don't be afraid to reach out for resources either. Your licenser will be able to help with them as well as the social worker for any kid you have placed with you. Look into foster parent/caregiver support groups as well since there are usually a number of veteran foster parents involved in them and they are great at helping you navigate and advocate for yourselves and your foster kids. They are great when you need to vent, figure out how to report any disclosures of child abuse your foster kid may make (you'd be surprised how open kids can get when they feel safe and loved), and they will be there for you when you have kids transition from your care back to their bio parents or relatives. Look into any training or classes you take and be aware that you're getting kids from many, many different kinds of backgrounds. I'd also read up on the Indian Child Welfare Act since you're in OK and you'll likely have Native American kids places with you (they are over represented in foster care in just about every state with a significant Native American population).

We have already been invited to come to the resource group this month even though we're not yet certified to meet some of the other parents and get some exposure to it all, and we're definitely going. I fully intend on taking every resource available and getting any help we can get as this is a complete unknown.

quote:

Most of all I really do want to say thank you. We have a huge lack of foster parents in my state, especially for older children, and it's a tough but rewarding service you are providing. Social worker shortages and general turnover doesn't help either. Good luck! I make it sound more difficult than it is but honestly, a lot of the time it won't be anywhere near that bad.

We're mentally preparing for the worst just in case but keeping a wholly positive attitude for the process as we want to be able to offer our home as a safe place with love and understanding and serve as mentors for a child either while waiting for unification or possible permanence as the situation may warrant.

Just a minor trip report!

We had our second and final class on Saturday which was a full day of nightmarish videos, tons of information, and ending on a happy note because after the Annie video (if you don't know what that is, I don't recommend googling it) you really need some positivity coming back. We're still plowing ahead full steam, and got all the paperwork turned in we're actually ahead of schedule for getting certified. We still have the home study and fingerprints ahead of us, but we're still determined that this is something we want to do. A mixture of nerves and excitement are in large supply as we overhaul space ahead of time so the child we get can make it their own.

One of the other families in the training was a pastor and his wife and while the Annie video elicits anger, even rage, not to mention making you feel extremely uncomfortable he went off the deep end about why they needed to make this video and who could convince a child to reenact such a thing etc. While I agree with him, he took it to quite the extreme and made things kind of awkward for a few minutes as he was visually upset and red in the face. It got everyone in the room for sure, but that reaction was a little jarring and unexpected. Even the trainer was caught a little of guard.

Thanks for the feedback and information everyone, it's been incredibly helpful and insightful. Obviously I won't be able to share the specifics once we do get a child but if there's interest i'll post random trip reports if anyone wants to hear them as we go through all this.

N. Senada
May 17, 2011


Being a foster/adoptive parents is one of my aspirations. I am in a stable, committed relationship but I'm under the impression we'll both need to be working for the rest of our lives. Does fostering require a stay-at-home parent? What's the challenges of fostering as a single parent vs as a couple?

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


N. Senada posted:

Being a foster/adoptive parents is one of my aspirations. I am in a stable, committed relationship but I'm under the impression we'll both need to be working for the rest of our lives. Does fostering require a stay-at-home parent? What's the challenges of fostering as a single parent vs as a couple?

This is subjective to our area and what we've been told, but my wife and I both work full time jobs. The system pays for daycare and transportation as needed but given the age range we specified they'll be in school so we'll just pick them up at the normal time without having to worry about it. We had a single lady in the class with no children who works full time currently that had the same aspirations we did so I imagine it's the same process as long as you have the space and capability/capacity for it all. As for the specifics of the challenges, I obviously can't speak to that but they all come with individual challenges from whatever situation they were pulled from. They're scared, go into survival mode of fight/flight/regression for a time or can be a model child for a honeymoon period then the issues surface as they get comfortable. It's different with every child.

Funny enough, single and couples are both encouraged, but in terms of single parents they prefer single women over single men -- or so I've read.

Friends of ours have fostered for probably 10 years and finally get to adopt the 2 year old they're fostering which is awesome. They only take infant/newborn to 2 year olds as they're less aware as to what's going on so it presents less of a challenge I guess behaviorally? It may manifest as the child gets older, but then again it may not. The age range we selected I fully expect to come with emotional or physical baggage that we're going to continue therapy for to make sure they get the help they need along with the care at home. This is going to present unknown challenges to us so I think the biggest challenge you'll have is figuring out what you can handle, what ages you think you can handle, etc. and the challenges that come with both boys and girls. In our case we went with girls only in our home because we already have a daughter and we want someone just a bit younger than her but aren't equipped to handle an infant. Sometimes kids look for that mentor situation and fall into that role really well, othertimes not.

I've done nothing but research and contacting resources, social workers in the system, and friends and others that we know who currently foster just to get an idea of what we're getting ourselves into. Every experience is wildly different but doesn't stop me from wanting to be there for another child when they aren't afforded that luxury or opportunity of love and understanding and patient hand. The more I learn, especially from the group support meetings I plan on going to with my wife, will be the greatest asset to learning how to handle the different challenges we're going to come across and then adapting that information for our situation.

The one major thing I took away from Saturday is that if you're married or have kids, it will put a strain on things. These kids need and require attention. It will test limits you didn't know could be tested. Make sure to learn to take time for you, make date nights, utilize respite homes and parents for a break as needed, and don't ignore biological children. Serparate time for both kids together and seperately. Stuff like that. We know this isn't going to be a cake walk but really do the research and consider everything before you just jump in. We talked about it and planned and discussed it for a year before finally making a decision to move forward.

Edit: The most depressing thing is that once kids reach age 8 they're less likely to get a home or adopted and teen adoption rate is like 12%. So, if you can handle 8 and older, that's awesome. I wish we could but there's a thing about a bio-childs milestones we don't want to overstep (something we learned about!) so the younger age was preferable.

Kodilynn fucked around with this message at 14:33 on Aug 22, 2016

Solaron
Sep 6, 2007

Whatever the reason you're on Mars, I'm glad you're there, and I wish I was with you.


My wife and I just started taking the classes for foster to adopt in Ohio, so I am excited to follow this thread. We've got 1 spare room and are looking for 1 or 2 kids (if siblings) that are younger than our 2 kids (who are 6 and 11). The woman who led our first class kept telling everyone they needed to go for the maximum kids per room because of how many kids in need there are in our area but we just can't offer that kid of support, I don't think.

Razor Jacksuit
Mar 31, 2007

VEES RULE #1




Solaron posted:

The woman who led our first class kept telling everyone they needed to go for the maximum kids per room because of how many kids in need there are in our area but we just can't offer that kid of support, I don't think.

I think there's an important point to be made here. Like VorpalBunny says, it's not about you, but about the kids. But if in your efforts to do the right thing you try to take on more than you can support (financially, emotionally, logistically, or in any other capacity) you risk damaging your existing family, and the foster kid(s) end up losing out anyway.

I'm not trying to poo poo on the process, or talk anyone out of anything. I think that the foster/adoption process has been entirely positive for our family, and the downsides have been minor annoyances in the scheme of things. But exercise caution as you would with any life decision. There are more kids in the system than resource families can handle, and while this makes our hearts cry out and want to open our doors ever wider, what it really means is that you can give and give and give and you still won't be able to save them all. At the end of the day, the social worker is not the one looking out for your best interest.

And as long as I'm advocating for cold, critical analysis of your foster situation, I'll lump in a little bit of E/N about my own emotional journey.

VorpalBunny gave the thumbnail picture of our foster/adoption. For the first several months, we were sure it was just a temporary placement. Temporary was what we wanted, and it seemed like we were always just another couple of weeks away from the birth family getting approved to take the little guy into their home. So we bent over backwards to work with the family, and I patted myself on the back about not getting too emotionally attached, not like those other families that instantly fall in love and then can't handle the loss when the system works as intended and reunites the kid.

Instead I had the opposite problem. As it became increasingly clear that reunification was not likely, I had to switch emotional gears. I had to start tearing down all those walls I had built up, and accept the reality the the hypothetical future "oh, we can talk about adoption if we end up with the right fit" was concrete and right now. But at the same time I felt like I still had to hold a little back, because up until that big day in court, anything can happen.

I don't think I've stunted my attachment to my son or anything, but who knows? The point is, I don't know if there's a "correct" emotional state to maintain during a foster placement. It will be a roller coaster no matter what.

Tulalip Tulips
Sep 1, 2013

The best apologies are crafted with love.


Solaron posted:

My wife and I just started taking the classes for foster to adopt in Ohio, so I am excited to follow this thread. We've got 1 spare room and are looking for 1 or 2 kids (if siblings) that are younger than our 2 kids (who are 6 and 11). The woman who led our first class kept telling everyone they needed to go for the maximum kids per room because of how many kids in need there are in our area but we just can't offer that kid of support, I don't think.

Don't take on more than you feel you can handle, emotionally or financially. You have to think about your bio-family needs plus the needs of the foster child(ren) you'd be taking and you can't do that if you're stretched beyond what you can reasonably handle. I do a lot of hard "do you think you can take in all 6 kids?" talks with relatives for the same reason -- your kids, your spouse, and your family plus your foster kids will suffer if you're stressed beyond what you can reasonably cope with. No matter how frustrating it can be looking for foster homes for sibling sets and for kids with high needs at the end of the day, I'd rather have people take 1 child who they can foster well without bringing in extra chaos to foster parent's family because that means that kiddo will be safe and most of all in a stable placement until they can be returned home/adopted/go into guardianship/etc. Going out on a CPS intake for your relative caregiver (intakes on licensed foster parents are handled by a separate division in my state) because they're over whelmed is the worst for all kinds of reasons.

The need for foster parents for older age group kids is just unimaginable. It's been brought up here but people really don't understand just how hard it is to find foster homes for kids who are over the age of about 8, if you add in behavioral issues, substance abuse problems, medical needs, developmental delays, etc it gets even harder. We just had a huge regional issue with having kids spend weeks over night in hotels (and their days in their social worker's office if they weren't in daycare or school) because placements couldn't be located and I just got done with mandatory after hours work because of it. So I can definitely see where you're teacher is coming from; if anyone shows any interest in older kids when I'm doing community outreach I immediately want to jump all over them and I have to remind myself to slow down and not put on the MLM type sales pitch.

Generally speaking, when it comes to working parents and single foster parents how hard it is to get licensed can depend on a ton of factors. Private agencies are going to have different criteria for who they license compared to state agencies and that can be a good thing since private agencies tend go a lot faster. On the other hand a lot of private agencies are religious, some a lot more than others, and in my area they can get incredibly traditional when it comes to what families they'll license. Bethany Christian Services is one of the more wide spread private agencies and they have a preference for Christian heterosexual couples but they usually don't require that one parent stays home with the kids. On the other hand state agencies can take a lot longer to license because of policies and state laws but in my state we do license a lot of same sex couples, working couples, and working singles. There is a bias towards working single women compared to working single men when it comes to fostering/adoption for a lot of bullshit cultural reasons (you're going to get a lot less sexual abuse allegations with single women than single men, basically). State laws here basically mean that if you can pass background, fingerprints, homestudies, and licensing requirements then our state agency has to license you

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Tulalip Tulips posted:

The need for foster parents for older age group kids is just unimaginable. It's been brought up here but people really don't understand just how hard it is to find foster homes for kids who are over the age of about 8, if you add in behavioral issues, substance abuse problems, medical needs, developmental delays, etc it gets even harder. We just had a huge regional issue with having kids spend weeks over night in hotels (and their days in their social worker's office if they weren't in daycare or school) because placements couldn't be located and I just got done with mandatory after hours work because of it. So I can definitely see where you're teacher is coming from; if anyone shows any interest in older kids when I'm doing community outreach I immediately want to jump all over them and I have to remind myself to slow down and not put on the MLM type sales pitch.

They really hammered this home on our second class and quietly tried to push the "are you sure you guys don't want a teenager?" angle a bit. We actually considered reaching out to the local youth shelter (I hate that we even have to have one of these) and taking in a gay teen that we know has just been ostracized and rejected by their family because of their sexuality. They'd have full support from us but we already have a 19 year old in the house going to college, we really don't have room for another with taking on a foster child as it is and I know they'd need their own space at that age which we simply don't have. Now if the 19 year old moves out then that could be a conversation...

I feel really bad for the 8+ group. They really can't catch a break and the videos in that regard are overwhelmingly depressing.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


I'm still catching up on this thread but I wanted to chime in and say that I'm a child welfare social worker in California was well as a foster parent and can answer questions on both sides of the table. I do a ton of volunteer foster parent education and advocacy.

My job us to work with the parents trying to reunify with their children to mitigate the safety risks that landed the children in foster care, while concurrently working with relatives and foster parents on the "Plan B"

My foster daughter was one of my clients, and has been with me just under a year and is starting her senior year of high school. She is permanently placed with me, meaning there are no reunification plans.

I'm also a single parent household of people have questions about that.

VorpalBunny
May 1, 2009

Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog


Mocking Bird posted:

I'm also a single parent household of people have questions about that.

Wow, you are amazing! How you manage all that in your life, I have no idea. My good friend works for the Dave Thomas Foundation, and the stories that she takes home to her family and has to deal with in her personal life are so stressful.

Once my kids are all older and out of the house I'd like to focus on fostering older kids. Right now we have toddlers and little kids, so taking in another toddler or little kid makes the most sense.

I really do wish all families with empty nest syndrome or struggling with fertility or whatever would consider foster/adopt. It's such a taboo, it seems, no one really considers it as a viable normal option for growing a family.

Solaron
Sep 6, 2007

Whatever the reason you're on Mars, I'm glad you're there, and I wish I was with you.


I have a theoretical question (and it may differ state to state - I'm in Ohio FWIW).

First - I'm sure some of these/most of these questions can get answered in the classes, but they canceled our most recent set of classes because of lack of interest, so my wife and I are driving between 4 different counties over the next 2 months to get them done and I would like independent verification of what we learn there.

If we foster to adopt, from how I understand the process, the child(ren) will be placed with us for anywhere from 6 months to a year before adoption is possible. At that point, the stipend/reimbursement stops and the medical coverage stops, correct? What if the child develops medical or special needs due to something from their birth (drug exposure, etc). Is that something that medicare would continue to cover or that my insurance would then cover as their adopted parent?

quote:

I'm also a single parent household

Agreeing with VorpalBunny here - that sounds overwhelming. I don't know how you do it. My wife is a professor who teaches online classes so she's able to be home 99% of the time, luckily.

VorpalBunny posted:


Once my kids are all older and out of the house I'd like to focus on fostering older kids. Right now we have toddlers and little kids, so taking in another toddler or little kid makes the most sense.


That's our thought too. Once our kids are out of the house, we would definitely be interested in fostering older kids. It just doesn't make sense for us right now.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


Solaron posted:

I have a theoretical question (and it may differ state to state - I'm in Ohio FWIW).

First - I'm sure some of these/most of these questions can get answered in the classes, but they canceled our most recent set of classes because of lack of interest, so my wife and I are driving between 4 different counties over the next 2 months to get them done and I would like independent verification of what we learn there.

If we foster to adopt, from how I understand the process, the child(ren) will be placed with us for anywhere from 6 months to a year before adoption is possible. At that point, the stipend/reimbursement stops and the medical coverage stops, correct? What if the child develops medical or special needs due to something from their birth (drug exposure, etc). Is that something that medicare would continue to cover or that my insurance would then cover as their adopted parent?


Agreeing with VorpalBunny here - that sounds overwhelming. I don't know how you do it. My wife is a professor who teaches online classes so she's able to be home 99% of the time, luckily.

In California, and probably your state as well, the child is placed with you as a foster child from day one until the day the adoption is finalized and the child becomes eligible for your health insurance. In California, adopted children remain eligible for adoption assistance payments and Medicaid until they turn 18 (or 21 in some cases.)

You keep receiving a foster care stipend and visits from social workers until the adoption is finalized.

And having a teenager makes being a single parent a little easier - she's a trustworthy kid who does well in school and is responsible enough to have a key to the house and a bus pass. She's been home by herself all summer while I work and the only negative thing that's happened is she eats twice the normal amount of groceries

She also has three grandparents and some cousins in the area who can watch her when I have to be gone overnight, which is helpful. People don't think of this often while fostering, but remember - your child has a family, and they can be wonderful people. Her grandparents weren't able to take her in because of marginal economic circumstances but we all go to her dance recitals and cheerleading events together, and will be sitting together at graduation. I'm paying for us to visit her great grandmother and mom in Las Vegas for Labor Day, too.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


And since this thread seems like a good place for some feel-goods:





She hates taking photos with me, argues with me, gives me the silent treatment, makes huge messes in my house, spends all my money, and also loves me so much she has nightmares I might disappear, and I feel the same. This is a very worthwhile thing to do, and I have no regrets about it.

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Mocking Bird posted:

And since this thread seems like a good place for some feel-goods:





She hates taking photos with me, argues with me, gives me the silent treatment, makes huge messes in my house, spends all my money, and also loves me so much she has nightmares I might disappear, and I feel the same. This is a very worthwhile thing to do, and I have no regrets about it.

You are amazing and awesome

quote:

If we foster to adopt, from how I understand the process, the child(ren) will be placed with us for anywhere from 6 months to a year before adoption is possible. At that point, the stipend/reimbursement stops and the medical coverage stops, correct? What if the child develops medical or special needs due to something from their birth (drug exposure, etc). Is that something that medicare would continue to cover or that my insurance would then cover as their adopted parent?

We have some friends that foster short term kids with no plans to adopt. In their experience with their agency the shortest a child has been in their care was 9 days and then they were reunited with their bio-family. Where it went after that they'll never know. They've had placements up to 6 months but not much longer than that. When they outlined what they wanted with their recruiter and local office, they were very specific in what they were looking for in time frames.

Other friends of ours only foster babies and they want long term placements. Over 10 years they've had a host of different newborns that stay a year or two then go back to their respective families or extended families like grandparents etc. that step in and want to take over care. They're finally adopting the 2 year old they have after rights were terminated so they're super excited. They still plan to continue what they're doing regardless but that's how they put for the their requirements.

As mocking said, if they're still a foster child you'll get a stipend a month, plus medical is generally 100% taken care of through Medicaid via your state. They're pretty gracious about assisting with disabilities here at least. As soon as you adopt them, that coverage ends and they're 100% your responsibility and on your dime. It sounds harsh but really take this into consideration that these kids eat your food, use your resources, and are on your tab with state assistance. At the adoption point you'd put them on your insurance (check costs ahead of time) and roll from there. Your state may have different rules though.

The possibility for adoption depends on when the parents rights are terminated. This can take years to happen. Even when it does you're in for a fight with the system to adopt. I'm basing this on what we've been told and what I've witnessed with friends that have gone through it. They had one that came up for adoption and the neighbors of the family waited until then to move in for the rights on adoption and they lost the kid to them because of family ties or whatever. Judges are weird.

JIZZ DENOUEMENT
Oct 3, 2012

STRIKE!


You are excellent human beings. I genuinely and sincerely thank you.

I think people who create new humans instead of adopting/fostering the many existing humans, are monsters.

What is your favorite food?

Solaron
Sep 6, 2007

Whatever the reason you're on Mars, I'm glad you're there, and I wish I was with you.


My wife and I finished our 36 hours of training last week (did 21 hours of it last week). It was pretty pointless - I understand the idea behind it and I think training is important, but this seemed designed to let someone check off a box somewhere and that's it. There were no tests or reviews, most of the videos didn't work or were skipped by the presenters, the slideshows didn't follow along with the manuals very well, etc. In order to get the classes done in a timely fashion, we went to 4 different counties and had 5 separate teachers. That said, it's nice to have that out of the way. We've been assigned a case worker for our county but now we have do do the home study process, which I've heard can take between 3 and 6 months.

Cincinnati's heroin problems are creating some pretty huge strains on the system so I'm hopeful that we will be able to complete the process quickly.

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Solaron posted:

My wife and I finished our 36 hours of training last week (did 21 hours of it last week). It was pretty pointless - I understand the idea behind it and I think training is important, but this seemed designed to let someone check off a box somewhere and that's it. There were no tests or reviews, most of the videos didn't work or were skipped by the presenters, the slideshows didn't follow along with the manuals very well, etc. In order to get the classes done in a timely fashion, we went to 4 different counties and had 5 separate teachers. That said, it's nice to have that out of the way. We've been assigned a case worker for our county but now we have do do the home study process, which I've heard can take between 3 and 6 months.

Cincinnati's heroin problems are creating some pretty huge strains on the system so I'm hopeful that we will be able to complete the process quickly.

3-6 months? Holy crap. Ours take 4-6 weeks on average. Placement for the age group we selected is usually same-day when your house is set to 'open'. Downside is due to funding and consolidation, they're reducing Case worker staffing by like half and combining the adoption, foster, and basic health services staffing all into one which has some major advantages down the line (hopefully) but may increase wait time for certification which sucks.

We've done everything but the home study which is this coming Sunday. The prediction is we'll have placement by Thanksgiving. The range of reaction from family has been from "that's awesome you're amazing let us know if you need help/a break" to "Are you out of your mind?" so that's a thing we'll be up against on the holidays.

It's amazing how different states handle the whole process, but overall I'd say going through an agency has simplified it SO much compared to going directly through the state.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


I started my foster parent classes in October, was certified by December, and was moving my daughter in at the end of January.

Being a social worker myself helped streamline the process as I read my states foster parent licensure guidelines prior to having my home inspected, so there was only one walk through and no corrections.

Can we disambiguate between having your home approved for foster care and having an adoption home study done, though? In my area of California it takes six weeks minimum of 6 weeks to become a foster parent, but it can take months to complete an adoption home study and often they don't begin the process until the foster parent has a child placed in their home.

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Mocking Bird posted:

I started my foster parent classes in October, was certified by December, and was moving my daughter in at the end of January.

Being a social worker myself helped streamline the process as I read my states foster parent licensure guidelines prior to having my home inspected, so there was only one walk through and no corrections.

Can we disambiguate between having your home approved for foster care and having an adoption home study done, though? In my area of California it takes six weeks minimum of 6 weeks to become a foster parent, but it can take months to complete an adoption home study and often they don't begin the process until the foster parent has a child placed in their home.

Ah yeah there are quite a few differences between foster home study and adoption. We just had adoption study done in March (which was finalized in June yay!) so they sadly couldn't use that same stupid paperwork for the foster care inspection because it wasn't done by the state but a licensed LPC. I don't get that at all, but, it's the rules. The guidelines for the foster inspection seem a bit more... specific from what I'm told. The adoption one was "yep bed food roof you people aren't insane or abusive gold star" and 30 minutes later we were golden. I have no idea what to really expect from the foster one. We're being a bit more prepared for this one in terms of cleanliness and safety.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


Kodilynn posted:

Ah yeah there are quite a few differences between foster home study and adoption. We just had adoption study done in March (which was finalized in June yay!) so they sadly couldn't use that same stupid paperwork for the foster care inspection because it wasn't done by the state but a licensed LPC. I don't get that at all, but, it's the rules. The guidelines for the foster inspection seem a bit more... specific from what I'm told. The adoption one was "yep bed food roof you people aren't insane or abusive gold star" and 30 minutes later we were golden. I have no idea what to really expect from the foster one. We're being a bit more prepared for this one in terms of cleanliness and safety.

Have you looked up your state guidelines? I did things like turn down my water heater, put my meds in a locking closet, and add a second clothes dresser to the kids room because they aren't allowed to share. For an inspection where your license covers infants, you're also required to effectively baby proof, even in places like the garage (delayed a friend of mine for two weeks).

But California is often overkill anyway.

(And they can't use the adoptions homestudy because foster homes are under the management of a state agency, the same way daycares and assisted living homes are)

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Mocking Bird posted:

Have you looked up your state guidelines? I did things like turn down my water heater, put my meds in a locking closet, and add a second clothes dresser to the kids room because they aren't allowed to share. For an inspection where your license covers infants, you're also required to effectively baby proof, even in places like the garage (delayed a friend of mine for two weeks).

But California is often overkill anyway.

(And they can't use the adoptions homestudy because foster homes are under the management of a state agency, the same way daycares and assisted living homes are)

I haven't but I knew about locking up medications which we've installed a lock-door on our bathroom cabinet which is about 5ft. off the ground as it is and can now lock. I employ a social worker at one of my clinics so I should probably ask her as she used to do them as to what to expect. We're getting a second dresser but didn't pick it up yet, but now that you've said that I think i'll push that timeline up a bit. I hope they don't look in the garage heh. There's a lot of woodworking scraps out there right now from remodeling among other failed/abandoned projects and I'm horrible about throwing that crap out.

Like I said, the adoption home study seemed to not really care about specifics, just that she had a bed/food/healthy/etc. and not specific at all. I need a drat checklist for my state. Off to harass my social worker!

Solaron
Sep 6, 2007

Whatever the reason you're on Mars, I'm glad you're there, and I wish I was with you.


I've tried to find some information for Ohio but only find generic stuff or else the one for permanent adoption - I'm just looking for what I need for fostering, for now. I hope I don't have to babyproof my garage. I knew about locking my medicine away, but hadn't thought about my water heater temperature.

We've been assigned our case worker, but haven't heard from them yet and the office phone goes right the voicemail. Exciting!

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


I'll see what legal code I can hustle up for you when I get home!

VorpalBunny
May 1, 2009

Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog


For us, in California, we had to make sure the garage had a walkway through all our stuff, we had to lock up our knives and cleansers, and our "adult" stuff had to be locked away. Our liquor cabinet has a cheap lock on it, and everything else is pretty easy to do - clear away clutter, etc. It's all just annoying little things.

I have heard there will be new regulations in 2017 to streamline homestudies and make it easier to get certified - there are so many kids in need of foster homes, and they eliminated the local facility where they were holding kids overnight, so the goal it seems is to make it easier for people sitting on the fence to be able to foster.

My husband and I are currently transitioning our rooms to potentially take in another foster child. We're not on the same page about taking in another right now, so we're giving ourselves a little more time to see if we land on common ground. Worst case, the extra bed can be used for sleepovers or guests.

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


So just an update - our home study is finally complete. It took two 2.5 hour sessions to get through everything including interviews for everyone including our nephew who lives with us and our daughter. Tons of questions, they Google your names looking for anything they can find to ask you about. We're now just waiting for it all to get typed up and reviewed in-house by our agency and then by the state agency. We were told this will take about a month or so and then we'll meet once more for orientation and final signatures to set our house to 'open' status. I'm excited for sure, but man for a system that is desperate for foster families they sure drag it out.

We're coming up on the holiday season to boot which apparently bumps the number of kids coming into the system, or so we're told. That's really drat depressing, but our families are on board to welcome the future child to the family so they'll have plenty of support and love coming into whatever hardship they're facing.

This is sooooo much different than adoption was. Adoption was just looking around the house, yep you have bed/food/clothes/toys ok sign here hour later we're done. I look forward to signing the final documents and getting this rolling.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


I take it as a good sign when they have high standards for foster homes - these kiddos are going to need an absolutely safe and supportive environment. As a social worker, nothing hurts me more than when one of my kiddos gets hurt worse in foster care than they did at home with their parents.

I'm currently going through four months of training about adoption and permanency social work and one thing stood out for me as a foster parent myself - how foster and adoptive parents have to mourn the loss of the family they thought they would have have, and the kind of support they imagined they would have.

No child is going to be the one you expected (unless you are super enlightened) and often adoptive families had struggles with infertility prior to adopting. A child that's been separated from their first primary caregiver isn't often an easy child, and many have had addition traumas in their lives as well.

Additionally, adoption and fostering aren't celebrated and supported the way getting pregnant and having a baby are. People say hurtful things like "well, we don't know if this baby is going to be yours" while fostering, or "you signed up for this" during hard moments. We don't get baby showers, and maternity leave varies. That poo poo hit me HARD because god knows not many people understand my choice to take in and parent a 16 year old who came from a group home, and when I need help they are kind of surprised and skeptical. I get called a saint for taking her in, but when I want to vent about her behaviors I'm shocked at the number of people who will tell me "can't you send her back?"

AA is for Quitters
Aug 6, 2009

Hold the newsreader's nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers.

Ive seen all sides of the system as someone in recovery i have friends who have their kids in cps custody, my sister adopted my nephew out of the system, and i have friends who are foster parents. My sister does respite care/emergency placement for kids since theres not a lot for young kids in our area. Outside of my nephew who the bio parents willingly terminated rights to (he has special needs and they knew they could not handle it) all her placements have only been a few days. if you are going to wind up with shorter term placements, the biggest complaint i hear from friends in the system is when the foster parents do things that come across as trying to change the kids identity. One friend hits up consignment shops, sends her kids back from visits with designer clothes...and the foster mom doesnt have them wear em. Another was miffed coz the foster cut off her boys hair. If reunification is in the picture for your placements, take that into consideration.
Also, be prepared for sudden additions. One friend who's fostering to adopt suddenly wound up with a newborn because bio parents popped out another kid. it takes a big heart to do what you want to do.

veggiebacon
Jul 14, 2015



Not a foster parent or kid, but I work with quite a few foster families. Most of the ones I work with are the kids who have been through tons of placements, so my experience is definitely more skewed towards kids with higher support needs than others.

I think something that's been well covered so far is being realistic about what you can handle, but I'll throw my two cents in anyway. Be prepared for behavioral issues. You may get yelled at, cussed out, have things in your house get broken, you get the picture. Know what resources are available in your area such as school supports, mental health, etc, so you can get the kids what they need. I can't tell you how heart breaking it is to tell a kid that I know they thought they found their forever home, but it's time to move on because the parents couldn't handle it.

One thing that I love about my favorite foster mom: her bio kids would go to a relative's house to spend the night pretty regularly and it was a big treat. Once she took in her foster kid, her bio kids didn't go over until the relative was ready to have ALL of her kids stay the night. They're part of the family, and the foster mom was drat well going to make sure they were treated as such. When they go on family vacations, that includes the foster kid. It sounds like the folks in this thread are more in line with this than a lot of foster parents, and that is amazing. You all do such needed and challenging work, and we need more of you!

VorpalBunny
May 1, 2009

Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog


veggiebacon posted:

One thing that I love about my favorite foster mom: her bio kids would go to a relative's house to spend the night pretty regularly and it was a big treat. Once she took in her foster kid, her bio kids didn't go over until the relative was ready to have ALL of her kids stay the night. They're part of the family, and the foster mom was drat well going to make sure they were treated as such. When they go on family vacations, that includes the foster kid. It sounds like the folks in this thread are more in line with this than a lot of foster parents, and that is amazing. You all do such needed and challenging work, and we need more of you!

We took our foster kids to Disneyland (we took in kids younger than 3, so they were free) and My Gym classes and stuff. Recently, since we knew we had international travel coming up we didn't want to take in a child and then have to put them in respite care because they wouldn't be able to join us on our vacations. I always try to put myself in the kids' shoes, would I want to feel alienated and unwanted or would I want to feel as equals with everyone else. My now adopted child was initially an 8-day placement, so we had to live our lives like he could be taken away at any moment. That never stopped us from including him in everything, including our family Christmas photos.

My former friends had a foster child, and their goal wasn't reunification but obstruction when it came to his bio family. They were fighting every step of the way, really questioning and belittling the bio mom and stuff. And then they put him into respite so they could take their bio daughter on a camping trip a few hours away over a long weekend. I was doing respite so we took him in, and when I asked my friend why they didn't take their foster child along he said "because I wanted to have a good time!" I was so mad, this kid was traumatized enough by his ordeal and then they didn't want to be bothered by him? I know we have a need for foster homes and caretakers, but MAN was I pissed.

CommieGIR
Aug 22, 2006

If Godzilla can do it, you know I can deliver!

Pillbug

Me and the wife discussed it, and if our attempts at a second kid do not take off by the time we're 35 (we're 30 right now) then we're going to adopt. We're in Georgia.

veggiebacon
Jul 14, 2015



VorpalBunny, you are my favorite type of foster parent, because you are a foster PARENT, not a foster provider.

Thank you.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Blue Footed Booby
Oct 4, 2006

got those happy feet




Slippery Tilde

Mocking Bird posted:

... add a second clothes dresser to the kids room because they aren't allowed to share. ...

Any chance you could explain this one? It sounds like they can share a room, but not a dresser. I can't come up with even a guess why this might be.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«14 »