Community Blog Archives by Date Blog
After nearly 10 years of being opposed to the idea of fostering, I finally decided to take the first step back in 2009 to learn more about the need and exactly what my commitment would be if I were to foster.
HEARTLAND FOR CHILDREN - [Foster Care Blog] - Today, our foster parents are highly skilled volunteers that work in partnership with biological parents, case managers and other child welfare professionals to ensure that while the children are away from their parents, the parents still feel supported and connected to their children.
My wife, Joy-Lynn and I became Foster Parent Mentors (FPM) through Heartland for Children in 2012. When we were approached with the opportunity to be an added support for incoming Foster Parents, we jumped at the opportunity because we saw the value in having someone who other Foster Parents could relate to as being an invaluable resource; especially, if the individual(s) were completely new to the fostering and/or parenting experience.
As FPMs through Heartland, we've had the chance to interact with incoming Foster Parents on many levels including assisting with respite, providing guidance or best practices with difficult behavioral issues, advocating for a child who had to be moved from one home to another, making recommendations on working with case management, providing another vantage point through the process of Termination of Parental Rights (TPR), and many other areas that Foster Parents can encounter during their first and continuing years of child advocates.
What we've gained as FPMs is a heightened level of understanding of how important it is to identify the needs of incoming Foster Parents. Being able to make recommendations on how the training component has and can continue to successfully equip incoming parents with the proper training and education; is a value add that Heartland has really welcomed input on.