“I feel like a lot of people say to foster parents, ‘I could never do that; I’d get too attached.’ That’s what these kids need. They need people to get attached to them and love them, and if we get hurt in the process at least WE did something for the kids.”
Jessica Bautista, Foster/Adoptive Parent
Foster care is a temporary arrangement for children whose parents are unable to provide care for them; the goal of foster care is always reunification. Children in foster care live with family members (kinship placements), foster families, or in group facilities. Once a child is in foster care, the state works with their parents to provide essential training, counseling, and other resources needed to equip them as caregivers. The foster system allows parents to focus on their growth as individuals and caregivers and motivates them to do the hard work necessary to restore their families. Over 50% of children who enter foster care are reunited with their families or live with a relative.
Foster parents act as a child’s parents for the duration of their placement. Placements can happen any time day or night of any day of the week and most placements last anywhere from two weeks to a year. Children entering foster care are dealing with the trauma of being removed from their homes and families, and oftentimes are victims of additional abuse or neglect. These traumas can understandably cause lasting effects on the children’s behaviors and attitudes. Foster parents play a critical role in helping children heal; they receive training and ongoing support from social workers as needed. Foster families are also often asked to facilitate visits with a child’s biological parents during their placement.
Emergent or Urgent Care Placements- foster families can agree to urgent, short term placements that remove a child from immediate threats until a suitable placement is arranged.
Kinship Care – family members, can agree to care for children related to them who have to be removed from their home.
Foster to Adopt – families with a desire to adopt open their homes to foster placements with the intent of adopting the child/children that are placed with them.