Our social worker told us not too long ago that the amount of kids in foster care far exceeds the amount of available and willing homes. So much so that many are having to stay in hotels under the supervision of their social workers. This is the definition of crisis.
Have you ever thought about fostering? I encourage you to think about it. Talk about it. Jot down your thoughts, both positive and negative. Crumple it up and throw it away. Contact your local Fostering Together Representative. Talk to a foster parent. Go to a Foster Family Support Group. Sit through family court. Google it.
I have this anonymous quote pinned to my office wall: “there are no unwanted children. just unfound families.” There is so much truth in those two sentences. I mean don’t you have people in your inner circle that might not be related to you, but you’ve come to call them family? Here’s an opportunity to add to that circle.
I know what you’re thinking… You could easily come up with 178 reasons to not foster. Not a fan of babies, toddlers or young kids? You are in luck – because there are foster kids as old as 17 (19-20 in some parts of the US) out there that have nowhere to go. Be there for them. Consider taking a teen in; lately the State of WA is having problems placing transgender foster kids. Because of the added requirement that they have their own bedroom, many families are not able to care for them. There’s this stereotype derived from tv (thanks, Lifetime…) that teen foster kids are in the system because of something they’ve done. That they are unwanted. Unsafe. Criminals. Liars. Thieves. It’s not true. There are a plethora of reasons why we have teens in foster care and not a single one is a result of something they’ve done. These kids need people to encourage them to finish high school, go to college, dream big, take risks, and know that they have a support system. They need adults to show them commitment, teach them to drive or ride a bike or prepare meals, love on them, do math homework with them, talk them off so many awkward ledges, watch Netflix and chill with them, etc… And adoption isn’t always the end result. What if your role was to be there for them during the toughest, most excruciating season of their life, and help them reunify with their family?
You don’t need a big house, or tons of money… or even a spouse. Singles may have up to 4 foster kids, partners may have up to 6. What if you changed one life? What if you helped a kid dream of and reach a successful future? What if we multiplied that by the 420,000+ kids that are currently in the system on any given day? Wouldn’t that be so amazing…
Did you know… all kids in the foster system after age 13 automatically qualify for free college? FREE COLLEGE. REALLY! Here’s a stat that makes my heart hurt – less than 50% of foster kids graduate high school. Think about it. What kind of jobs and lifestyles does this statistic end up having? What kind of life do you have? You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to have everything. You don’t have to know all the answers. But a little compassion and a lot of love could go a long, long way.
Please. Consider becoming a foster parent today.
For more information please go to: http://fosteringtogether.org/foster-care/overview/
Please feel free to contact me directly through the contact form if you would like to know more information or dialogue becoming a foster parent. I would be so happy to answer any questions you have.