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Anybody here a Foster Parent?

 
Celia D.
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User ID: 4788915
United States
11/16/2011 05:57 PM
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Anybody here a Foster Parent?
The idea of being a foster parent has come to me many times, and I've done a little research. But, has anyone here actually been a foster parent? What ages of children? I know there are a lot of challenges - I'd like to hear from someone with real experience...........
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1354196
United States
11/16/2011 06:08 PM
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Re: Anybody here a Foster Parent?
im not a foster parent, but my family had foster kids. ages ranged from 1-17, because kids shuffle in and out fairly often. teens are hard, because thiers teens, and young ones are hard because you get attached and it hurts when they leave to thier real parents. Other hard things are based on case by case.. some have deep emotional issues, some act out thinking if they are bad you will give them back to thier real parents. I would like to say these issues are rare but it seemed to me to be the casemore often than not.

another advice is to go through an agency. the foster kids that are only.. whats the word, "managed"?.. by the state are treated more poorely thus more issues. Agencies often have events for fister kids, and thier workers are more involved which helps the kids and gives them strong relationships with someone outside the home that us on your side.
Celia D. (OP)

User ID: 4788915
United States
11/16/2011 06:21 PM
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Re: Anybody here a Foster Parent?
Thank you for your advice...

I know it must be a mixed response...

I just feel there is some room in my life for one more, just not sure as to the age, or level of what I'll have to deal with.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 4750204
United States
11/16/2011 06:27 PM
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Re: Anybody here a Foster Parent?
My sisters, brother and I were foster kids.

I had a great home. I even kept in touch with the family long after my dad took me out of the foster care system.

Its basically the same as being a parent. Kids also do have a say (at least we all did) on if they want to stay with their foster family, or if they want to go back to their parents, or to another family. We were given the choice.
As long as I was able to keep in touch with the family that fostered me for 4 yrs, I willingly went back to live with my dad.

For us, my parents divorced when we were young. My mom had full custody, and she kept my dad away from us. She found she couldnt care for us anymore, and put us all in foster homes. We visited her every other weekend, until she moved away to Germany one year. My dad not knowing she did this till it was too late, he had to come up with the means to care for his 5 kids. Once my mom was out of the picture, my dad had us every other weekend. Till one day he came to us all and told us he wanted us. We all made our decisions, based on our ages, and our lives. I was the youngest, and wanted to live with my dad. Anyway.
Sometimes adoption is an option, if you are up for it.


Not sure how much each state pays.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1354196
United States
11/16/2011 06:29 PM
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Re: Anybody here a Foster Parent?
Perhaps you can sign up for recpit(sp?) care. When a foster parent is unable to attend to the children (on vacations/fall ill/ect.) or when kids are taken from homes and nead a temporary case for a few nights, you would be taking over. It will help you get to know the system and e if this is what you want, but without as much comitment. at least until you decide you want to be full time.
Celia D. (OP)

User ID: 4788915
United States
11/16/2011 06:31 PM
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Re: Anybody here a Foster Parent?
My sisters, brother and I were foster kids.

I had a great home. I even kept in touch with the family long after my dad took me out of the foster care system.

Its basically the same as being a parent. Kids also do have a say (at least we all did) on if they want to stay with their foster family, or if they want to go back to their parents, or to another family. We were given the choice.
As long as I was able to keep in touch with the family that fostered me for 4 yrs, I willingly went back to live with my dad.

For us, my parents divorced when we were young. My mom had full custody, and she kept my dad away from us. She found she couldnt care for us anymore, and put us all in foster homes. We visited her every other weekend, until she moved away to Germany one year. My dad not knowing she did this till it was too late, he had to come up with the means to care for his 5 kids. Once my mom was out of the picture, my dad had us every other weekend. Till one day he came to us all and told us he wanted us. We all made our decisions, based on our ages, and our lives. I was the youngest, and wanted to live with my dad. Anyway.
Sometimes adoption is an option, if you are up for it.


Not sure how much each state pays.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 4750204


I'm sorry for what you had to go through...that was really tragic. I wish I could have been there for someone like you..

I'd just like to make a difference in some kid's life.
Life and Love
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User ID: 1525154
United States
11/16/2011 06:31 PM
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Re: Anybody here a Foster Parent?
The idea of being a foster parent has come to me many times, and I've done a little research. But, has anyone here actually been a foster parent? What ages of children? I know there are a lot of challenges - I'd like to hear from someone with real experience...........
 Quoting: Celia D.


applause for an open heart and generous spirit!
Those who have more than enough should always be mindful of those who have less than enough.
Tawandaaaa

User ID: 1328412
United States
11/16/2011 06:33 PM
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Re: Anybody here a Foster Parent?
Good question. I've thought about it often, too. My sister works for a foster care agency (in accounting, not really direct contact with the kids). She is in a different state than I am, so I wouldn't be able to foster through her. As an employee, she had to go through the same process as foster parents just in case they needed an emergency overnight person to care for a kid. She said they have a lot of problem kids and in some cases have even had to go in and retrofit houses with plexiglass windows to keep the kids from kicking them out. Since she's the one paying the bills for damages, I've always taken her word for it. I'm sure these are the extreme cases, but it's always kept me from taking the next step in getting certified to do it.

Being a single-parent and having an 11 year old girl in the house, I'm not really keen on the idea of bringing in a 15 year old boy with anger issues. Things like that have kept me from doing it. Now, if I could say "only kids under age 12" or "only girls over age 12," then I may do it. I figured I would be a good place to put a female child that had been taken from a home due to sexual abuse - a safe haven since there is no male living in the home. But, I don't know. I want to do it, yet always chicken out and never take the next step. So, OP, glad you asked the question. I'm anxious to hear the answers as well.

Last Edited by Tawandaaaa on 11/16/2011 06:34 PM
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 4750204
United States
11/16/2011 06:36 PM
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Re: Anybody here a Foster Parent?
My sisters, brother and I were foster kids.

I had a great home. I even kept in touch with the family long after my dad took me out of the foster care system.

Its basically the same as being a parent. Kids also do have a say (at least we all did) on if they want to stay with their foster family, or if they want to go back to their parents, or to another family. We were given the choice.
As long as I was able to keep in touch with the family that fostered me for 4 yrs, I willingly went back to live with my dad.

For us, my parents divorced when we were young. My mom had full custody, and she kept my dad away from us. She found she couldnt care for us anymore, and put us all in foster homes. We visited her every other weekend, until she moved away to Germany one year. My dad not knowing she did this till it was too late, he had to come up with the means to care for his 5 kids. Once my mom was out of the picture, my dad had us every other weekend. Till one day he came to us all and told us he wanted us. We all made our decisions, based on our ages, and our lives. I was the youngest, and wanted to live with my dad. Anyway.
Sometimes adoption is an option, if you are up for it.


Not sure how much each state pays.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 4750204


I'm sorry for what you had to go through...that was really tragic. I wish I could have been there for someone like you..

I'd just like to make a difference in some kid's life.
 Quoting: Celia D.


I felt bad at first too. But really I think it helped mold who I am today. Dont feel bad for me. I was with a great, family with lots of kids, and I had fun.

You want to make a difference, and it sounds like you will.
Look into it. I think you can request certain ages groups.

The family I was placed with also had other kids they were fostering (and later adopted), but they requested mainly infants and toddlers. One was a kid fresh outta the womb from his mother who gave birth to him in jail. My foster mother, actually went to the jail house herself and picked the baby up straight from the jail house.

Much luck with your decision. I think you will be fine.

hf
Celia D. (OP)

User ID: 4788915
United States
11/16/2011 06:37 PM
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Re: Anybody here a Foster Parent?
Good question. I've thought about it often, too. My sister works for a foster care agency (in accounting, not really direct contact with the kids). As an employee, she had to go through the same process as foster parents just in case they needed an emergency overnight person to care for a kid. She said they have a lot of problem kids and in some cases have even had to go in and retrofit houses with plexiglass windows to keep the kids from kicking them out. Since she's the one paying the bills for damages, I've always taken her word for it. I'm sure these are the extreme cases, but it's always kept me from taking the next step in getting certified to do it.

Being a single-parent and having an 11 year old girl in the house, I'm not really keen on the idea of bringing in a 15 year old boy with anger issues. Things like that have kept me from doing it. Now, if I could say "only kids under age 12" or "only girls over age 12," then I may do it. I figured I would be a good place to put a female child that had been taken from a home due to sexual abuse - a safe haven since there is no male living in the home. But, I don't know. I want to do it, yet always chicken out and never take the next step. So, OP, glad you asked the question. I'm anxious to hear the answers as well.
 Quoting: Tawandaaaa

I think you can specify what ages of kids you want to foster, but I may be wrong. I have a young son, so I would have the same concerns you have....

Still, I just feel the need.
Celia D. (OP)

User ID: 4788915
United States
11/16/2011 06:38 PM
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Re: Anybody here a Foster Parent?
My sisters, brother and I were foster kids.

I had a great home. I even kept in touch with the family long after my dad took me out of the foster care system.

Its basically the same as being a parent. Kids also do have a say (at least we all did) on if they want to stay with their foster family, or if they want to go back to their parents, or to another family. We were given the choice.
As long as I was able to keep in touch with the family that fostered me for 4 yrs, I willingly went back to live with my dad.

For us, my parents divorced when we were young. My mom had full custody, and she kept my dad away from us. She found she couldnt care for us anymore, and put us all in foster homes. We visited her every other weekend, until she moved away to Germany one year. My dad not knowing she did this till it was too late, he had to come up with the means to care for his 5 kids. Once my mom was out of the picture, my dad had us every other weekend. Till one day he came to us all and told us he wanted us. We all made our decisions, based on our ages, and our lives. I was the youngest, and wanted to live with my dad. Anyway.
Sometimes adoption is an option, if you are up for it.


Not sure how much each state pays.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 4750204


I'm sorry for what you had to go through...that was really tragic. I wish I could have been there for someone like you..

I'd just like to make a difference in some kid's life.
 Quoting: Celia D.


I felt bad at first too. But really I think it helped mold who I am today. Dont feel bad for me. I was with a great, family with lots of kids, and I had fun.

You want to make a difference, and it sounds like you will.
Look into it. I think you can request certain ages groups.

The family I was placed with also had other kids they were fostering (and later adopted), but they requested mainly infants and toddlers. One was a kid fresh outta the womb from his mother who gave birth to him in jail. My foster mother, actually went to the jail house herself and picked the baby up straight from the jail house.

Much luck with your decision. I think you will be fine.

hf
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 4750204


I love and admire people like you!
Celia D. (OP)

User ID: 4788915
United States
11/16/2011 06:39 PM
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Re: Anybody here a Foster Parent?
Perhaps you can sign up for recpit(sp?) care. When a foster parent is unable to attend to the children (on vacations/fall ill/ect.) or when kids are taken from homes and nead a temporary case for a few nights, you would be taking over. It will help you get to know the system and e if this is what you want, but without as much comitment. at least until you decide you want to be full time.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1354196


That makes a lot of sense...thanks.
Celia D. (OP)

User ID: 4788915
United States
11/16/2011 07:32 PM
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Re: Anybody here a Foster Parent?
Perhaps you can sign up for recpit(sp?) care. When a foster parent is unable to attend to the children (on vacations/fall ill/ect.) or when kids are taken from homes and nead a temporary case for a few nights, you would be taking over. It will help you get to know the system and e if this is what you want, but without as much comitment. at least until you decide you want to be full time.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1354196


That makes a lot of sense...thanks.
 Quoting: Celia D.

I forgot to ask - have you ever done this? What was your experience?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 3804573
Canada
11/17/2011 04:57 AM
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Re: Anybody here a Foster Parent?
Hi OP -

I worked for a residential treatment facility for boys in a next step program, and would not do it again. I actually had 3 teenage boys over a period of two years who lived in my home. It was not a positive experience. This is different from fostering through CAS - these kids were placed in the facility because of extreme behaviours or because they were court ordered to be there. After they receive treatment and are deemed stable, the next step usually is to move them into the community and into the homes of 'parent therapists'.

My advice to you would be to stay away from such programs and private type organizations - and stick to government run programs. Even with my education and work experiences in the education/psychology fields - it was too much. I have direct experience with these 'for profit' type facilities and would not recommend working with them to anyone. I had a teenage boy who was a sexual offender live with me. The clinicians and staff hugely vouched for this boy - and because I tend to be 'a champion of the underdog', I agreed to take him. When he started to act out sexually in my home - the same clinicians said things like "I was always on the fence about this kid". I mean REALLY? Here I was a single woman with an offender living in my home who was twice my size and you were on the fence? Remember they want to move kids to the community to free up bed space so that they can profit the most.

Attend the information sessions that childrens aide society offer - then apply if you are still interested. The home study that follows can take alot of time, and most agencies will require you to take CPR etc. Having a foundation in basic psychology does help - things like understanding 'attachment disorder' will be necessary. As a previous poster suggested - starting out doing emergency fostering and respite fostering would be a good start.

Stick to government agencies! :)



Good Luck!
I did it!
User ID: 1212121
United States
11/17/2011 12:04 PM
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Re: Anybody here a Foster Parent?
I have fostered 8 children and adopted 3. If your background is squeeky clean, do it. These children need homes desperately. Out of my 8, five went home after about a year and my last 3, I adopted. Yes, they have issues that stems from their birth history, but no one is perfect. You will recieve many blessings for helping those that can't help themselves. Go through your county and get licensed. I requested only babies, and got them. The older children may come with bigger issues, but there is no such thing as perfect kids. Me and mine are planning to live happily ever after, and the love I have for them is immeasurable. Blessings