Support Foster Parents and Relieve the System Crisis

WHERE DO WE BEGIN?

With so many challenges facing the foster care system, Foster Homes of Healing contends that stabilizing current population of foster children and families is the best place to begin resolving the spectrum of issues before us. Preparation, support services, parent skill-building, peer support, and training are what foster parents need to achieve stabilization. With stable placements kids in care will thrive instead of merely survive.

RETENTION

When we support foster parents appropriately, they stay. When foster parents stay, the whole system benefits from their retention.

Families who have consistently parented a foster child develop invaluable learned experience. They have enhanced skills and they become experts at foster parenting.

CASELOAD REDUCTION

Supported foster parents will be better equipped to handle the daily challenges of parenting traumatized children through positive parenting and de-escalation techniques. They will naturally require less time from caseworkers to address individual outbursts and disruptions. In turn, caseworkers will have more time to support each other, develop their own skills, build relationships with families and each other, identify and connect supplemental resources for families, and provide the crucial oversight role that helps keep kids safe and healthy in care.

RECRUITMENT

Foster parents who are connected to community and supported will share their positive experience with others. Positive experiences will draw more potential families to become foster families. Recruitment organizations like Every Child and Embrace Oregon will have a system to plug their recruits into that is better able to keep the interest of recruits, and follow through with their certification.

CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE PLACEMENTS

A higher volume of placement options will result in better opportunities for optimum placement of foster youth in culturally appropriate settings. When the system – foster families, caseworkers, trainers, certifiers, and service providers are not in crisis mode, proactive community building, partnership development, and diverse recruitment efforts can be undertaken and even more options for optimal placement can be achieved.

TRANSITION PLANNING

Better training and culturally appropriate placement will result in better cooperation regarding the child’s permanency or reunification planning. Transitions can be better coordinated, and a more consistent experience can be achieved for the child.

WHAT CAN I DO?

In the 2019 Legislative Session we will be hosting a day of foster parent advocacy at the capitol, contributing written and verbal testimony to Legislative hearings on foster care policy, and sharing the work by building awareness through social and earned media.

JOIN US!!!

Sign up for our newsletter to receive notifications to get involved as we plan:

  • Foster Homes of Healing Day at the Capitol
  • Attend a public hearing @ Oregon Legislature
  • Testify in support of foster parent training
  • Write to your legislator
  • Celebrate foster families

5 Replies to “Support Foster Parents and Relieve the System Crisis”

  1. My name is Katherine M. and until 4 months ago I was a relative foster parent for my niece for 2 years and 9 months (and since she was 4 days old). I have previously reached out and met with the following: Governor Kate Brown, Rep. Sara Gelser, Gov Ombudsman Darin Mancuso, Judge Nan Waller and Child Welfare Director Marilyn Jones.

    While I believe everybody wants change to this sick and broken system, it is my feeling that no one has the guts to actually do it. This process has been very painful for my family, and even traumatizing to me as a result of how DHS and other players have treated us since return, that has dealt with many addicts and mental health in the family so we are not green to this problem. The accountability for parents and progress is pathetic and the bar is ridiculously low! We should call it parent welfare because the rules and laws are stacked in their favor and not in the best interests of the child. Now I don’t take blindly that the two worst things you can do to a person is take their life or their children but when we are talking about long term addicts and mental illness, we need a higher bar!

    I even sent a letter that I sent to Judge Waller outlining my main issue. She and her staff have repeatedly told me that can’t talk with my while I have an open case which I find to be a cop out. When is a good time, when it’s too late? I want a major discussion in the legislature and the judicial community regarding enforcement of ASFA.

    I want to go on record now that the Democratic Party has left me feeling disenchanted with lip service and no results. The DHS culture is still horrible and I don’t see any actual effort to change it.

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