I’ve been in the foster care system (age 14-17). And the #1 thing I wanted growing up was stability like knowing there’s someone who will be home everyday and food in the fridge. My foster mom became a foster parent to me and my sister because her daughter was our friend and she stepped up when we were living in a group home.
monsterly : That’s great to hear. That I know we could do! My biggest concern is child care after school. I don’t know how that works exactly. But obviously the process will take time and so we can sort that out. I think DH’s mom is wanting to retire and watch her grandchildren so that could work.
I was in foster care 12-18 after being homeless at 12.
You need to not be treated like a stereotype of a damaged kid.
You need to feel seen and respected, not treated like you’re in any way at fault for the way your parent(s) raised you til that point.
You need adults to understand you ARE just a kid, even though it may not seem that way because you’ve built a defense wall a mile high to protect yourself from your environment out of necessity.
You need foster parents to NOT put their emotional baggage and needs onto your shoulders.
You need patience and kindness and a lot of do-overs.
You need non-reactiveness.
You need your own parent(s) to not be villianized, because you are partly them.
You need a LOT of trust (once you’ve been given the opportunity to earn it,) because you probably basically raised yourself before being in the foster system, and suddenly not having someone trust you will feel like the biggest slap in the face and take away what little self-confidence and self-love you have.
You need social development mentoring, support, and encouragement – how to establish and maintain healthy friendships, play team sports, resist peer pressure, etc.
duchessgummybunns : thank you so much. These are all things that I feel like I can provide. I have never been in foster care but I was raised by an alcoholic and I SO identify with a lot of these emotions. Like for instance most the time I would take care of myself. Sometimes they would leave me alone over night or over a weekend and I would be so furious when they randomly tried to inforce rules or “parent.” And I hated hearing my parents talk shit on each other because I felt attacked. I spent some time in group therapy and a huge thing was accepting that all parents are just human beings they are not perfect and any person for the most part is doing the best they can with the skills (decision making, emotional etc) that they have at that time. And that is not always enough to take care of others the way that they should be and it doesn’t make anyone “bad” or “good” it is what it is. But what’s most important is that kids are safe and cared for regardless of what their parents are experiencing.
I work with kids, and I’m currently taking a class on children with trauma. The professor had us watch this video, and I think you might be interested in seeing it. I was amazed by how accurately it depicted what so many children go through. There’s a part 2 as well. I think this is a must-see for potential foster parents!
I’m not going to finish grad school for a few years so I’m not in the position to foster, but I would love to do it some day.
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