According to the National Foster Care Month website, there are more than
400,000 children and teens currently in the foster care system, and the
need for families to care for these young people is great. May is National Foster Care Month, a time to recognize foster parents for their extraordinary work with this nation's foster children. It is also a time to recognize how difficult life is for most foster children when they are taken from their families and schools and placed in new households for temporary or permanent stays. Finally, it is a time to note the efforts of the professionals who work in foster care, recruiting and training foster families, placing children in good homes, providing support and treatment to foster children and always being available to foster parents if a problem arises.
KidsPeace is committed to helping find permanency for foster children, which is in line with federal and state guidelines. We are also committed to helping foster teens make the transition from foster care to independence when they age out of the system at 18. We provide life skills training programs to older foster kids to help them prepare to find a job and an apartment, buy, register and insure a car, open and track a checking account, pay bills on time and learn many other skills that help them face life on their own. KidsPeace also ensures that foster children receive the mental health and tutoring services they need to be successful in foster placement.
KidsPeace carefully matches each child to a family that will best suit their needs and with which he or she will be a good fit. It is extremely hard on children to be moved from one house to another until a good match is made. “The federal mandate is to reduce ‘drift,’ which means kids being placed in home after home, which is very damaging to their ability to attach and their self-esteem. It is therefore the job of organizations such as ours to be extremely selective when interviewing potential foster families and providing them with in-depth training and support to deal with any crises that arise, 24/7,” according to Foster Care and Family Services Regional Director for KidsPeace Ken Olson. “At KidsPeace, we do everything in our power to make our placements successful. We want our kids to stay in one foster home until they are returned to their families or are adopted, often by their foster families.”
You are never alone if you join the KidsPeace Foster Care team. Our training is extensive, we are always there to help you and your foster child and you become a member of our Foster Care Community, where you will meet other foster parents, participate in KidsPeace sponsored events and know that you are a vital member of the child's foster care team. We often have sibling groups that will be so happy if a family takes them in together. KidsPeace especially encourages you to agree to take in a teen to guide to adulthood.
If you have ever thought about what it might be like to be a foster parent, please take step toward foster parenting this May. KidsPeace invites the you to consider becoming a foster parent by reviewing these questions:
1. Would you like to make a difference in the life of a child in need?
2. Can you open your home to a foster child who has been closely matched with the dynamics of your family?
3. Are you loving, patient, understanding, nonjudgmental and warm, and do you respect each child as an individual?
4. Would you like to be treated as a full member of the professional team focused on your child's best interest?
5. Can you provide your foster child with a safe environment that allows privacy and personal space?
6. Are you over 21?
7. Do you have a source of earned income that is sufficient to support your family?
8. Do you have a fully insured automobile and the time to transport your foster child to appointments, activities and family visitations?
9. Are you available to attend extensive training about foster parenting?
10. Do you have a background that is free of crime against children?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, you may be eligible to become a foster parent. For more information, visit KidsPeace Foster Care at Fostercare.com.