Ensuring a Brighter Future for Those in Foster Care
Fostering a child is one of the most selfless acts someone can do. Though it can be hard work, the benefits and satisfaction from being a foster parent are endless.
According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, there are more than 437,000 children and youth in foster care across the United States. National Foster Care Month in May is an initiative of the Children’s Bureau, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, and acknowledges foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections.
“Foster parents have the important role of teaching children what a family looks like,” explains Lori Jalkiewicz, Program Director, Acenda, Kinship, and Adoption Services. “Through foster care, children get the individual attention and guidance they need to help them grow and develop according to their age. They see what being a parent is supposed to mean, so that when they grow up they break the cycle.”
Here are six benefits to being a foster parent:
- Children in the foster care system have often experienced a trauma or hardship. Fostering gives parents the opportunity to provide a support system for children who need it most.
- You are making a positive contribution to your community, taking care of a child who has been displaced from their home and needs a caregiver.
- Adding a foster child to your family will enhance your life in so many ways. To love and care for a child will bring new meaning to your life and to others in your family.
- Fostering a child can create a positive ripple effect. Those in your circle and community might be inspired but what you are doing and want to do the same.
- If you are interested in adopting, the US Department of Health and Human Services has reported that fostering can provide a quicker route to adoption than other means.
- Although financial gains or rewards should never be at the top of the list for any foster parent, fostering does offer monetary allowances for your service and to ensure the proper care of the child. Substantial tax credits are also provided for foster parents.
Our Strengthening Foster Children and Families program provides in-home family and individual therapy for foster children and their resource families. Staff provides support, therapy and education to children with the goal of strengthening family functioning and stabilizing placements. For more information about our programs and services visit: acendahealth.org/programs