What support exists for foster parents? Are you a part of any support groups or discussion pages?
The answer to this question kind of piggy-backs off yesterday’s question about our licensing organization.
There is a lot of support out there for foster parents/families. Miracle Hill sends out a monthly newsletter filled with opportunities for connecting with other families at social events, training opportunities, and updates in the world of foster care. This is huge and filled with really useful information.
There are also lots of services for children in the foster system to help out parents. If you have child in your care that has certain needs, there are programs in place to help support you. [Full disclosure: we have not had a placement in need of extra support in this way, so I cannot speak to the details of these programs.]
Within 72 hours of a child coming into foster care, his/her development and physical health are assessed. If the child is four years old or above, his/her mental health is also assessed. Once those assessments are complete, the foster parents are made aware of the results, and care plans are put into place to get the child on track. This is incredibly helpful, considering many children that come into care are, on average, six months behind in development.
These are just a few of the many support systems in place for foster parents.
Cody and I are a part of a small group at our church that has been really helpful! We are able to share about our journey and receive encouragement, while also learning from others who have walked a similar journey.
We are also in a couple of private Facebook groups that are really encouraging. They are a great place to ask/answer questions and share information.
Our community, even those not directly connected to the foster system, has been so invaluable. When we got the call for our very first placement (which were twins and we were only prepped for one child), there were many things we needed within the first couple of hours/days. We were fortunate to have friends bringing over all kinds of clothes, and extra crib, extra carseats, and extra stroller, etc. We had even more than we knew what to do with! It was so amazing!
So, if you’re thinking of becoming a foster parent but are concerned that you’d be walking alone, consider these supports that are already in place. It is so helpful to know that there are others ready to help out!