I've been thinking about this a fair bit lately. I doubt I'm an ideal candidate (divorced/single, high pressure job, animals) but I guess it never hurts to find out more.
Sometime in the future, I'd like to foster children. I've been seeing things lately that really bother me, and I think I could do a good job raising a child. My parents did a great job raising me and I think I could pass that on to another generation. (Plus... it would give me a reason to buy a pony. )
Is anyone here a foster parent? Or was fostered? Would you mind sharing your stories and experiences?
i have a special needs foster man/ child.........he is 23, nothing physically wrong, so in that sense, he is an easy keeper, and a BIG help to me..............emotionally and mentally, closer to about 5.............adhd, autism, oppositional defience disorder, seperation disorder......lots of stuff.........he came to me about 10 yearrs ago, after being in 3 different homes in 5 yrs.......granted, i have worked in the industry, and have a different, but apparently successful perspective on how to deal with him..............
i get a monthly, non-taxable stipend, which certainly helps me....ALL his needs and desires are paid for out of his own bank account, managed by an agency....i have to do medical, dental appointments, etc, and monthly, sometimes more, meetings...........he has had issues over the years, but there is always adequate support from agency........
i think ANY foster kid is going to have emotional issues, special needs or not......so that is something one has to be aware of up front........
i had my own 2 girls in the house with him, and now they are grown and gone, and the grandson "plays" with him...is he a PITA at times?......BIG TIME........are all the rules and regulations a PITA?.......big time..................but those are pretty short-lived issues......i thnk if you feel you have something to offer a kid, go ahead and do it.....but it is HARD, not like a hallmark movie......but, when it works, it's great
We sure need decent foster parents. I won't relate the horror story of my daughter's BF that was raised by a so-called "foster parent" other than to say the abuse would make your brain explode. She did it for the money. Locked the kids in closets, all sorts of other vile abuse.
If you can find it in your heart, you will be blessed.
I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry
I fostered for years, I have some advice,
1. only foster kids under the age of 2 even a 2 yr old can be a fire starter or have some really really scary habits ( I can't give details on how I know this but trust me I do)
3. research the agencies in your area, some provide the kids with lots of things ( bikes, money to join sports, extra stipend for pics with Santa, or Easter bunny ect) some provide the meager stipend and that is it. None if this is ever about the moeny but trust me when you average it all out you get less than 25 cents an hour to foster so the stipend you get will need to be used for clothes and everything a child needs ( including the ever expensive diapers) so any extras really help!
4. if you have any and I mean ANY attachment issues fostering iis NOT for you, you have NO say in what happens to the kids the goal of every state is to REUNITE first and foremost and it happens in some VERY bad situations. I was standing IN court ready to finalize the adoption of one of my foster children ( parents had not seen her since birth and she was now 2) and they came running into the court, the judge handed the baby to them and they left with her that day. NO home check no back ground checks no NOTHING just heres your kid have a nice life.
5. In spite of all of my above listed points I LOVED fostering, it broke my heart each time a child left but I did it for over 5 yrs and still have a special place in my heart for each of my kids!! Just be well aware of what your getting into and do your research!!! GOOD LUCK!
i've done fostering for teenage girls in crisis---what the HELL was i thinking?
and burned out very quickly. (honestly, aren't most teenage girls in crisis over something or another, lol?)
anyway 20 years later i am caring for two men who are developmentally delayed---the new term for basically mildly retarded--but not downs syndrome. one is adhd, etc and the other also has early onset alzheimers.
as challenging as it can be, i absolutely LOVE my job---the work pays very well, (tax free too!) the guys are mostly very easy to care for and i seem to have found my niche.
i am extremely lucky with my guys, i really love them and i have fantastic help in my dh and a live-in assistant.
really the key (for me) to succeed in this line of work is to have great help.
i have a tiny apartment i barter for help with a fabulous young woman who does the same type of work, only she does daytime support, not live-in.
she picks up her clients and brings them to the house, where all of our folks watch movies, do arts and crafts together and play with the animals.
my guys are very excited to start riding lessons again, and spend a fair amount of time at the barn with me. one in particular is turning out to be a really excellent groom--and very proud to be so too.
we are seriously considering a move in the future to a duplex or even triplex, so she can have two clients and i can have my two and share the work. (of course i'd need to add another helper, which may be fairly easy around here---i provide free apt and utilites and small salary for help).
we'll see how it works out, but i know my younger guy is with me for life, and the agency loves the farm lifestyle we provide---we have folks on a waiting list to join us.
pm me if you'd like to discuss it, if you have the heart and motivation for the job, it's a wonderful way of life.