Where are the Foster Families?

1

September 15, 2014 by multiracialsky

Natasha_Sky_camping1So we received a phone call this summer. We’ve actually received one-a-month since we started being a foster family this past spring. This call was from our local placement social worker about a child who was in desperate need of a foster family, and actually was a very good match for our family. After I clarified that we wouldn’t be disqualified for (a) our four children plus (b) our current two foster children plus (c) the sib we planned to do respite for in a couple weeks plus (d) our Fresh Air Child who would be with us for the first two weeks of July—then I listened to the specifics about this kiddo’s case. If you were keeping count there, this child would have been one of NINE children in our family for about a week in July. We slept on it, and decided we just couldn’t do it because we were already overbooked; we actually backed out of the respite placement as well within the week. And as it turns out, seven kids was plenty.

When there is a phone call for a child or children who need a foster family and a bed, they often need them now. Every foster child we have had this year has arrived at our house within hours of the original phone call from the social worker. The earliest call was at 1:30 pm; the latest was at 5:15 pm. Between lunch and dinner, our family has grown by one or two children four separate times this year. So far, in six months, we have received phone calls about nine babies or preschool children.

I heard through the grapevine today that our area is out of foster families: all the foster families are full. This is not just for teenagers or sibling groups of three or four kids, this is for the healthy six week old baby we loved on for 24 hours until their long-term placement could be contacted.

If you have ever thought of becoming a foster parent, if you have an extra place at your table, an extra seat in your car, an extra pair of pajamas and a pack-and-play or an unoccupied bunk, please consider it again. There are children today who need a place to call home for a day or a week, a month or an entire season of their life.

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One thought on “Where are the Foster Families?

  1. education for all says:

    We tried to be a foster family on a number of occasions in the past few years. We were foster parents many years ago so that we could possibly adopt. Two of our children came to us through foster and then were adopted.

    In the last couple of years, we tried unsuccessfully to become foster parents. Our two daughters were in college, we had 4 children in our home and my partner was a licensed day care provider. Because the numbers were higher than the magic number of 8 in Michigan, we were not allowed to be licensed as a foster home.

    I guess things work out for the best or at least I’d like to think so. Two years ago, two children came to us through a failed international adoption. We were providing respite until Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, Valentines, etc all passed. The adoptive parents relinquished their rights and we adopted.

    Now we happily have 10 under one roof. Girls have graduated and are home from college. It is nice that they are able to live with their youngest siblings since there is such a big age gap… 4 to 23.

    Would still love to be a foster parent, maybe years from now, but with our day care license, that may never be an option.

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