It Truly Takes a Village
Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.
In Texas, there are over 31,000 children placed outside their parent’s care in foster care. There are not enough foster homes to support this number of children in care. This means that children from your community are being placed outside of their home community, or in shelters.
Children who are placed outside their home community in one day lose their parents, family, school friends, teachers, coaches, and sense of connection to their community. They frequently miss school so they can have visits, or they don’t see family because they need to be in school. This sense of loss is compounded when they cannot be placed with their brothers and sisters due to no one having enough room.
It’s an incredible opportunity to really pour into the next generation. And to show them something different.
– Stacy Wiebe
What Foster Parents Do
Foster parents are needed to take children of all ages. The hardest to find placement for are teenagers and for children with challenging behaviors. Foster parents who are willing to take sibling sets of 3 or more that spread across the age ranges are greatly needed.
An important role for foster parents may be to work with the child’s birth family to help the child safely return home. If that is not possible, foster families may commit to parenting the child through adoption or until a permanent home can be found.
The foster parent helps children to stay in contact with their birth family. Foster care is part of the overall services provided to the child’s entire family. Foster families may come from the same community as the child, should be willing to assist with transportation to visitation with the child’s family, and should help with other types of contact with siblings, relatives, and other important people in the child’s life.
Working with the family helps children to return home or be adopted more quickly while enabling them to keep contact with those who are important in their lives. Children who keep contact and are returned home or adopted more quickly have less trauma while in foster care.
As a foster family, you may be asked to:
- Provide temporary care, love, and nurturance to children. The foster parent assists in helping the children transition home, to a legal guardianship, or adoption by another family, while keeping the child in contact with their kin, culture and community.
- Serve as the legal guardian for children while maintaining the children’s contact to kin, culture, and community.
- Adopt the children while maintaining the children’s contact to kin, culture and community.