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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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