There is much to be said about Foster Care! I have witnessed HUGE changes throughout foster care in my lifetime. Most of these changes are excellent. Like the motto from our DHS is ‘Love a child, Foster a Family’ The DHS is truly trying to lift up the entire family when they become involved with removing children from their homes.
This task is monumental. To Foster a Family is to help each member overcome what ever brought DHS to their doorstep. Change like this does not happen overnight. While the adults are working through their issues their children are living in a foster home. This is a home where someone has said YES, my home will meet ALL requirements of DHS. My home will be a safe haven. YES, we will go to doctors, dentists, therapists, family visits, set up school schedules and help the schools help these children who are traumatized.
This is a double edged sword from my perception. The kids were never really seen by doctors or therapists decades ago and so this is an improvement that Foster parents are required to do, it comes at a cost. While we say take them to their appointments- the foster parent has to make the appointment, make sure the insurance is accepted, get to the appointment, report all findings, and follow up with any necessary follow up. That alone is a FULL TIME job to do for just one child.
I speak from experience. My business partner and daughter is a foster parent. She has always been a hard working person. There are not many people I would agree to go into business with, but she matches my work ethic, abilities and willingness. We started our business prior to her becoming a foster parent. While I support this change in her personal life it has taken a toll on our business. Her time gets spent on the needs of the children in her care and the requirements of DHS.
We need more foster parents. There are not enough. Part of the reason that there are not enough is it is extremely challenging to be a foster parent. I know most employers can not accept the lack of time you have for your job. This is a problem that I believe DHS needs to help sort out. I know that DHS does not have unlimited resources and would find it difficult to get all of the beginning requirements done with all of the placements they have. But foster families suffer the brunt of this endeavor and many never take another child after the first one.
The Dave Thomas Foundation asks employers to be adoption friendly. https://www.davethomasfoundation.org/our-programs/adoption-friendly-workplace/ This is a fantastic organization and I would hope you will consider signing up. My personal belief is that we need a Foster Friendly organization as well. Where employers that support an employee in being a foster parent offers things like telecommuting, 4 day work weeks, open communication with that employee.
Let’s help DHS fix problems like too much is required at the onset of a new placement, lets help foster parents fulfill requirements and be able to keep their employment, lets find more foster homes and help change our world by ‘Love a child, Foster a Family’