Hi everyone; welcome back to our blog! If you haven’t already, check out our introduction blog post from last week. We talked about the history of ACH and gave a brief glimpse of the services we offer, one of those being foster care.
This week we want to talk more about our Foster Care Department, some of the requirements to become a licensed foster care family and the role of a foster family. ACH’s Foster Care staff is hard-working and devoted to finding the best fit for each of our foster care children.
A foster parent is someone who provides temporary care for a child. The foster parent supports the first goal of Foster Care, to reunite families whenever possible. However, if reunification is not an option, foster parents are considered for adoption if they wish to adopt. The children who are in our foster care program come from unstable backgrounds. Many times they are victims of abuse, abandonment, or neglect. They are referred to American Children’s Home through their local Department of Social Services.
Some of the qualifications that you must meet to become a foster parent are: you may be single or married, you must age 21 or older, you may rent or own a home, you must be able to meet your family’s financial needs without dependence on the monthly stipend, and you must have an available bed complete with bedding for each child.
We talked to one of our foster parents, Rebekah, who adopted one of our children to hear about the process she went through and some insights into being a foster parent. Rebekah has been a foster parent to John since he was two years old. John came to Rebekah and her husband from a difficult situation. He is special needs with no diagnosis. At the time Rebekah and her husband first got John, he looked like he was only eight or nine months old and he couldn’t cry, “He would open his mouth and no sound would come out. He was an empty shell.” The first time Rebekah spent the weekend with John she knew that he was theirs and that God put him in their lives to teach them patience.
When talking with Rebekah about some of the most rewarding things about being a foster parent, she talked about how important it was that her social workers gave her and her family lots of support while going through the process. Rebekah and her family will have their three year anniversary with John on February 22nd. John is now five years old and is doing so well. Rebekah and her family are so proud of the progress he is making and happy that he is learning how to give affection on his own.
We asked Rebekah if there was anything she would like to let people know that are considering become foster parents. Rebekah replied, “It’s hard and scary, but what happens if that child is never loved.” We’re so lucky to have people like Rebekah and her family who open their homes and provide the safe and nurturing environment that every child deserves.
If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent for our children or if you have any further questions about the process, please send us a message or give us a call at 336-357-7126.