It's Foster Parent Friday once again, and I'm excited to share another foster parent interview here on my blog. If you missed the first interview, be sure to go back and read it after you read tonight's post! Tonight, a foster mom named Nicki shares her views and opinions on her foster care journey.
"I have had a child in my care since December 16, 2013. I've been licensed since April 26, 2014 (kinship placement."
Do you do respite, short-term, or long-term care?
"Kinship placement only, but open to respite after he goes home."
How many children have you taken in over that period of time?
"Just my nephew; he's autistic."
Do you limit your care to a certain age group? If so, what ages do you take in?
"Our paperwork we fill out limits ourselves to kids that are under 13 I think."
Have you ever adopted any children? If so, how many?
"I have not adopted."
Did you have any biological children when you started foster care? If so, how many? How old were they at the time?
"Yes. Two daughters. One was 5 going on 6 (now she is 7) and the other had just turned 2 and is now 3."
What were your biggest concerns as you started your foster care journey?
"Foster care was of no concern really. Either we passed or we didn't; we would do what we could for my nephew. My concern was how he would mold into our life, how he would interact with the girls, hoping he was not the violent type (he is the exact opposite), and wondering how difficult he actually was (bounced three homes in 2 weeks because he cried 24/7). After having him for 3 weeks our biggest concern was worrying we would have to give him up because we couldn't find child care that would take him.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned from being a foster parent?
"You are your own, your family's, and your foster child's biggest advocate. Fight for what everyone needs."
Is there anything you would change about your experience as a foster parent?
"As a foster parent, no. In the system, yes. Oh paperwork... I would make a standard form that a person had to fill out because I find it ridiculous that I have to fill out my salary 3 different times to [re-certify] my house."
Do you have any words of wisdom for future or new foster parents?
"If a caseworker says something odd or that you don't agree with (I have a friend who was told her 5-year-old bio son couldn't stay with her more than 3 consecutive nights), always ask them to see the policy on what they said. And don't let them walk over you. You are opening your home."
Are you a foster parent who is interested in doing an interview for Foster Parent Fridays? Send me a message through my Contact page and I'll give you the details! I'm looking forward to sharing more interviews in the future to showcase the perspectives of other foster parents!
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