Fostering in your community and fostering to adopt

Discussion in 'Servant of All' started by Miridyth Al'Landerin, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Miridyth Al'Landerin

    Miridyth Al'Landerin Novice

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    So many know that we have fostered for years. We have fostered in the states of Georgia, Kansas and South Carolina. We have successfully adopted two of our foster children who were not able to reunite with family. After the movie about foster adopting, I thought I would post some pointers and anyone who has fostered, fostered, adopted, or been in foster care or foster adopted could weigh in.

    First, each state is different, but the end all is the same. One decides to foster children, goes through mandatory classes on how to help children from abused, neglected, or drug homes. Then one has to go through the background checks to make sure that one is not a wanted criminal or is on a child abuse registry anywhere. Lastly the home is inspected to make sure it is as safe as a daycare.

    Next, the foster parents decide on the age, amount of children they can support and the severity of abuse, neglect or disability they can handle. They are put into the system and called by "placement" for a child or sibling group.

    In Georgia we we were allowed two. We received one badly neglected infant who had been exposed to alcohol in the womb, and were respite for a 7 year old on the weekends. We were able to finally adopt the infant when she was two and a half. She is now 20, going to Texas A&M and is and has always been a delight to have. Love her as if she was my own...as she is!!

    In Kansas, we were slated for three. We had over 23 children go through our home in two years. However, one stayed and we finalized his adoption last year when he was three and a half. He was a drug baby and all kinds of issues when we received him at 6 weeks from another foster family that had him at birth and could not handle him. He is now four and a half and the apple of this mom's eye.

    In South Carolina, we have fostered three and all have now left to biological homes. That is what fostering is. We take care of the kiddos until either the parent or parents can provide a good home for them or else a relative can stand up and take them. Adoption is always the last resort and we have always adopted any foster child who was not able to be reunited.

    So if you have the room and the heart, please consider fostering in your area. Do NOT think that one will make money as this is not daycare. The money given to help out with the kiddos is not at all close to what it takes to feed a child, clothe a child, provide shelter for the child. It is all given out of love with minimal support from the state as a "thank you" reimbursement.

    We do this because we believe in the system. I am still going for my BS in Psychology after receiving my Associates with help from the RJ scholarship fund. I still believe that fostering is something that all should do from their hearts. So if you want to know more, have questions, are a foster parent and want to connect or have been fostered/foster adopted, pm or post here. It is the best way I can think of giving back to our community and helping those in need.
     
  2. Seryse ni Cousland

    Seryse ni Cousland Novice

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    Miri, I would be interested in fostering once I'm at a more stable place in my life. My first step would be to start as a CASA, I think. Get my toes wet and all.
     
  3. Miridyth Al'Landerin

    Miridyth Al'Landerin Novice

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    CASA is amazing. In some states, it is actually a paid position. In South Carolina, they had both volunteers (who did not have to have a degree) and paid employees who represented the children in court and did home visits (paid positions).

    We have just finished all requirements to become licensed in Texas. We already have been approached by a private agency (it seems that private group homes is a norm here in Texas) to take in sibling groups when we become licensed, but we have been notified by our youngest son's family that he has a bio sis in need and we are exploring the possibility of fostering/adopting her if possible. It takes a bit more paperwork when they foster/adopt across state lines.

    We are also exploring fostering older children now that most of my kiddos are grown and moved out. There is a HUGE need for people to foster and adopt children older than 10.
     
  4. Miridyth Al'Landerin

    Miridyth Al'Landerin Novice

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    We are now fostering in Texas. Each state is different. In Texas, the foster parents have a worker and the foster kiddos have a worker. We have two fosters now in placement. People often ask us "are you going to adopt?" and again our position has always been, as long as the foster kids do not have a place to go and we have had them for a bit, then yes, we will consider to adopt. The thing with fostering is not thinking that adoption is the "end all." I know many people who get licensed to only adopt. Who only foster with the expectation to adopt. One really has to have a handle on the fact that the parents are not bad people. They are people who have made bad decisions and can decide to make better ones. We need foster homes desperately. The homes that will be behind fixing the parents also, not just the kids. While we do not fix the parents, we hold onto the kids until the parents can get their lives together. We support the parents by just being kind to them. We support the kids by making them see that life is awesome and can be awesome. I hope more will choose this path to help those in need.
     
  5. Dovienya el'Korim

    Dovienya el'Korim Mistress of Slacking Aes Sedai Headmistress

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    I'm interested in fostering, but my husband isn't :(
     
  6. Miridyth Al'Landerin

    Miridyth Al'Landerin Novice

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    Well, it does take two. Have you thought about taking the classes together (as that is required before even licensing can begin) and then discuss if it is for you? Maybe your county has an intro class? Sometimes it is the unknown that is scary.
     
  7. Miridyth Al'Landerin

    Miridyth Al'Landerin Novice

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    Latest update!

    Covid 19 has caused a huge disruption in the fostering community. Some homes are locking down and refusing to take in children and others are no longer accepting transfers (when a child is placed in a foster home that is not trained to the level of need for the child and they need to go to a home that has more training in certain behaviors or disabilities). Also, the investigative teams were not going into homes to check on the children in homes where abuse or neglect was not severe enough for removal at that time, often exposing the children to escalating abuse or neglect.

    In our state of Texas, the investigators are now going back in and the level of care these poor children need are often excessive when removed. I currently am fostering two wee babies that experienced most unspeakable things. Good news is that they are bouncing back with therapy and lots of love. I chose to not close my home due to the fact that I have older kids, we have been sheltering since the lock down by choice, and we all agreed that the need outweighed the risk. This is a personal choice and not to reflect on any other person for their choices. This disease is real, extremely bad and very scary.

    The need for foster parents (not just adoptive but those who wish to foster) is great. It is especially great for kids who are school age, with middle and high school students especially needed. Our first foster was a teen and it was a trial by fire, but he was a good kid. We had several middle school children in the early years also, but found our niche in physical/neglect/abuse/drug infants.

    The thing I always hear from people about fostering infants is "how do you give them back? Do you not feel hurt when they leave?" The honest answer is that yes, I have always wondered what happened to the wee ones after they are placed back with a family member or parents. Yes, in some cases, my heart breaks and it takes a few weeks before I can pull my heart strings back in and give to another child in need. I start by knowing that this is a job of love. That I am here for these parents to learn how to take care of their children or until a relative can be found to take them in. I never take in a child with the hopes of adopting them. In all cases, I would adopt them all, but they are not mine and were not intended to be mine.

    However, sometimes, there is one who stays and does come up for adoption. In Georgia, we had five foster kids in one year and one stayed. We received her at 5 months and she became eligible for adoption at 2. She is now almost 22. In Kansas, we had 28 kids come through our home in two years and one became eligible for adoption at the age of 3. He is now going to be five next month. For this reason, we always dual license for fostering and adopting because it makes the process easier if a child stays.

    My classes and degree plan has been very helpful in being a foster parent. I highly recommend taking psychology classes, child development classes and sociology classes, even if one is not going to pursue a degree. In Texas, one only has to have an Associate's degree and a year of training to become a caseworker. In the state of Kansas, one has to have a Master's in Sociology to be a Case Manager. So education is truly important if one wishes to work in this field professionally.

    I hope to hear from more people who wish to foster. HOWEVER, if you do not wish to foster, the local communities that assist foster homes are in need of diapers, clothing, baby items (high chairs, cribs, etc.) and formula. This would be one way to start. Another way (and the way I started) is to volunteer as a driver to transport children to appointments or visits. There are also, depending on the state, other volunteer positions that one does not need to open their home to take in children. I hope that I can motivate others to join in this pursuit when thinking of "Servants of All" as one of our most precious resources is our children.

    Thanks for reading :)