Blog 2: Thinking of Foster Care
So, you’re thinking about foster care. Maybe you haven’t even spoken it, but at some point you heard a story about a foster family that has made an impact in the lives of kids — or learned of the incredible need in Michigan with over 13,000 kids in foster care each year. When you bumped into those moments, you had a thought that both intrigued and terrified you:
Maybe you could do foster care.
It’s that small voice inside that speaks to us before we have the right words.
If this is you, we’re excited to join the journey of discovery with you — because that’s what it is: a journey to discover how you might offer your love to a bruised and scared child, and in the end receive incredible blessings in return.
To help you along the way, let’s start by dispelling the myths of foster care.
MYTH: I have to be financially wealthy, in a traditional marriage relationship, and a successful parent to be a foster parent.
FACT: The fact is, none of this is true. You have to be a loving, stable adult to be a foster parent and foster families come in all shapes and sizes. Many foster parents have never “had kids of their own” before fostering.
MYTH: We need a “stay-at-home parent” in order to make foster care work.
FACT: Many foster parents are in a two-person, working family. Some foster parents are single parents. In either case, like millions of other families in our nation, foster families use day care, sitters, and other latch-key type programs to make it work.
MYTH: Foster kids will bring all kinds of issues and behaviors that are very difficult to handle.
FACT: Kids are kids. And as they grow through the stages of development, it’s “normal” for all kinds of behaviors to pop up. The Wellspring team of foster care professionals are with you every step of the way in order to help assure you’re equipped to handle anything that comes along.
MYTH: If we sign up for foster care, we will have to take any child that is assigned to us, and that feels risky.
FACT: The matching process is a thorough review of ages, gender, and backgrounds that could work well for you and your family. This helps assure that placements are right for everyone. If you want to serve little ones, then that will be the focus; if you feel better equipped to serve pre-teens or teens, then placements will be limited to those age ranges. On rare occasions, when a placement isn’t working, a child will be moved to assure the best experience for all.
You’ve got your own questions that need answers. Wellspring has the answers. You’ll find everything you need at wellspringfosterparents.com, a special website designed to provide information and allow you to interact with our foster care professionals on your terms.
So, listen to that small voice inside your heart that needs to be listened to. You’ll never know for sure if fostering is for you until you start the journey to discover. How do I know this? I’ve taken that journey of discovery, which led my family to become a foster family, which continues to provide tremendous blessings and a richness to our lives each and every day.
DAVE GEHM, President & CEO
Wellspring Lutheran Services