Happy New Year 2022 to all our dear readers!
Frankly, we can’t believe that COVID continues into 2022. The foster care community including should not allow COVID to freeze them into inaction.
Life needs to go on and foster kids need to be cared for, even more as COVID continues into 2022.
If you are thinking of becoming a foster parent with the intention of adopting the foster child. We have three words for you this holiday season: Start with Love.
We are so proud that Dr. John has put out a recommendation for us to Foster Care professionals in both US State Governments and Foster Agencies across US States. We specialize in the front end of recruiting quality prospective foster parents through technology. And its important for foster care professionals and foster parents to know that we understand their challenging but rewarding work. Thank you Dr. John for putting out a good word!
There seems to be a lot of expectations from foster parents. And the trouble is that these expectations can be unclear for both foster parents and agencies.We urge foster parents and agencies to have a one page checklist (see the Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande) of parent expectations for every child because the child’s situation can be very different.
For those not deeply familiar with the Child Welfare System there is a common confusion that Foster Care is somehow similar to Adoption. Multiple website’s content from different folks often use the terms interchangeably. Since this adversely affects the recruitment and work of foster parents we wish to clarify for all prospective foster parents out there:
If a trained, licensed foster parent quits – it is a tragedy for all involved. Particularly the child who needs to now move to another foster home. We have all seen TV images of foster kids moving from from one home to another with their meagre belongings in a garbage bag. It is those heartbreaking images that motivates us at StartFosterCare.org to try and find the right foster parents and match them with the right foster care agencies.
Foster parents are kind and caring people. It takes a good heart to step up and care for a child unrelated to you (foster care) or even related to you (kinship foster care). We found a great piece of research on what motivates foster parents by Tracy E. MacGregor, Susan Rodger, Anne L. Cummings, and Alan W. Leschied. titled “The needs of foster parents: A qualitative study of motivation, support, and retention.” in the journal Qualitative social work Vol. 5, no. 3 (2006): pages 351-368.
Here is a summary of intrinsic and extrinsic and motivators based on research in the US and elsewhere the authors identified:
We were fascinated with the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System (AFCARS) data that provides a great overview of the nationwide foster care challenge. Here is the table from the AFCARS data for 2019 reported in 2020 . This is for children entering foster care in 2019.
Since this table is useful to both prospective foster parents and foster care professionals given the kinds of questions we heard at our May National Foster Care meetings here is a brief discussion:
Our May 29th virtual event provided new insight to the situation of some foster kids. We were shocked to learn that some kids come from biological families that are so poor that they have never been to McDonald’s.
We had a very successful first virtual meeting on May 19, 2021 between prospective foster parents and foster care professionals. Some of the parents had a lot of knowledge about foster parenting and had new questions that sparked spirited discussion. One of the questions was between authoritative and authoritarian parenting.