Welcome back to Taylor Talks!
As you may remember from my post, “Welcome to the Club!,” some family friends have recently started doing foster care as well. Being new to the system, my mom’s friend checks in with her once in a while about the way things are supposed to go with a new foster child. This can be anything from how to comfort them in their first week, to how the involvement of DSS works.
I thought it might be helpful for people interested in becoming foster parents to understand some of the changes in DSS that we’ve seen since we started to now. For example, I think that new foster parents should be a little guarded in this new situation. Now, this is nothing against DSS in particular, but everyone knows that if you’re new at something and unsure of how things work, it’s easy to be taken advantage of. So one thing that I noticed was that while we have always been provided with a driver to take the children on their visits with the biological parents, this friend of my mom’s was asked to drive her foster son to a visit twice. This isn’t the job of a foster parent, and I think that new foster parents may not be aware of what their role is in some capacities.
Rules about foster care have changed over the years as well, even years ago when we were just starting out. My very first brother and sister lived with us for two years before returning home to their biological father. Shortly after they went home, the rules changed to protect all parties involved in foster care, the children, foster families, and biological parents. Now, foster children can stay in the foster home for a year. By the end of the year, the parents will either get their children back, or the children will be put up for adoption. The only exceptions are when the bio parents are really close to being finished with their parenting classes, but need a month or two in order to completely get their lives back on track. An extension will be granted, and then the children can go home a little after a year.
Like all parts of life, some changes to DSS and the foster care system have been good over the years, and others have been not quite as welcome. But if foster parents stay informed, learn from others with more experience, and continue to look out for the best interests of their family and foster children, then everyone will turn out alright.
I’d greatly appreciate it if you would share this blog with friends and family through your favorite social media sites. If you’re sharing on Twitter, don’t forget to tag me (@TayTayK02) and use the hashtag #TaylorTalks.
My family has been doing foster care since I was three years old. I'm the only biological child in my family, though I now have five permanent siblings. Having nineteen siblings over the course of my lifetime has been an incredible experience, and I'm hoping that by sharing some of the ups and downs of being the only bio kid in a foster family, other foster families or people looking into doing foster care will be able to learn a bit of what life can be like. I also like to share what life is like on my journey to becoming a published author, as well as where my schooling and career choice are taking me.