- Ally Monarch
New Series: Foster Parenting
Updated: Sep 22, 2021
If you know me or have taken a look at my website, you know that my husband and I are foster parents. We made this decision over two years ago and it has been a bumpy road to say the least. The one thing I have noticed in my experience is the lack of understanding and support around foster care and foster parents. This has made a bumpy road much more isolating and daunting at times. Over the next several weeks I would like to spend some time talking through some aspects of foster care/parenting that I have found to be validating, as well as, some helpful tips and strategies that may aid you along this amazing journey you are on. For those of you who are not foster parents, this blog series may prove to be beneficial later on down the road when you encounter someone or engage with friends who are fostering children and may need support.
Foster care is so broad, but I thought I would narrow it down to 6 areas that I will delve into over the next 6 weeks. These areas include how to talk to family and friends about your decisions, connecting with a child who is not biologically yours, maintaining and strengthening a relationship with the biological family, supporting reunification while also creating a bond with your foster child, determining what your foster children should call you, and how to know when you need a break.
Phew!! These are heavy topics and by no means do I have all the answers. I have worked in the foster care system for over 5 years as a child and adolescent therapist and have been a foster parent for over two years. Also, my husband worked for over 5 years in child welfare as a social worker. Even with all of this experience and knowledge we still encounter challenges and bump up against obstacles that appear impossible at times. I would like to spend some time sharing what I know and hope that you feel seen and heard as a foster parent, and maybe even snag a few tidbits to take home with you and implement with your foster children.
As foster parents, you have stepped up to love and raise a child who is not your biological child, with the goal always being for them to return home with their biological family if deemed safe. This is a huge task and by no means an easy one. I want you to know that you are making a difference whether or not you know it. You chose to love and care for children who may never stay in your home, but you are laying the foundation for that child to experience and know safety and support.
Please schedule a free consultation if you have further questions or want to schedule an individual session to create space for you to be filled back up. Also, please reach out if you are interested in engaging in a foster parent group to connect with other foster parents and process the obstacles and celebrate the joys together.
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